It’s Saturday morning. My favorite day of the week! I made it to Starbucks, coffee in sight, and ready to write. As this week progressed, I kept thinking about what I wanted to write about and love kept coming to mind. Not the gushy “OH MY GOSH I <3 U” kind of love, but the everyday, selfless love we are called to.
When I was younger, I found myself throwing the word love around without hesitation. I would tell my family I loved them, end a phone call to a friend with “love ya” and even used the word with my first “love.” At that point in my life, love meant that I cared very deeply about a certain person and and to express that, I would them I loved them. It was almost as if the words didn’t come out of my mouth, it meant I did not care about them. The meaning of the word at the time was very shallow. As soon as I felt someone wronged me, I was quick to pull the word back. To me, love was a conditional feeling. I had no problem loving people until they wronged me. I didn’t comprehend what it meant before I truly accepted Christ into my life.
As I get older, I’m gaining a deeper understanding of what the word “love” not only means, but also what it looks like. I now have a model of what love looks like through my relationship with Christ. It wasn’t until I was at my lowest of lows that I truly saw what love meant. God knew exactly what I needed in my life, to understand the true meaning of love. I couldn’t see God’s love clearly until he rescued me from my own filthy mess. When I say filthy, I mean a deep, dark, guilty pit filled with shame, embarrassment, confusion, and unending questions. I was chasing what I thought was love, but ended up in an unending cycle of confusion. Thankfully God’s plan was bigger than my own and he rescued me from my own life. I would like to say that he opened my eyes wider to what he had in store, but I felt like my eyes weren’t even open. I was chasing my own dreams. I was after what “I” wanted in life and not what the Lord wanted.
After a lot of time spent getting to know who Jesus is, I was able to understand that love is not a feeling, but a choice. Love is not based on how other people react to you, but how you react to them.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
If you really take a second to slow down, read this scripture and reflect on how this kind of love looks in your life, you may find it reshaping your life. We are called to love above all things. With the definition of true love, and knowing it is a selfless love, decisions are made differently and my outlook on life has changed.
To me, love is making the choice to selflessly go out of my way to be kind to the last person in the world I want to show kindness to. Love is helping someone in need even though they have done nothing for me. Love is going out of my way to say a kind word. Love is making the right choice instead of the easy choice. Don't get me wrong, I am no where near loving this way day in and day out. There are days that I simply choose not to show kindness or to take the easy choice because it's satisfying.
Here’s my challenge to you. Throughout this week, no matter what situation, ask yourself if your actions are out of love. Are you patient and kind? Are you wishing you had that one thing your friend just got, or even putting someone else down for the fun of it. Are you making decision just to please yourself, or is it what the Lord wants for your life? Do you find yourself easily angered, or trusting in the Lord’s plan? Do you find yourself giving up when the going gets tough, or do you find yourself persevering no matter the circumstance?
Are you up for the challenge? I’d love to hear how this scripture changes your outlook on life this week. Feel free to comment below or to share with our visitors on our I Believe page this week!