Loving someone is an act of faith.
Not faith in a person.
Faith in God.
There are always people we’d really like to not have to love. For me, it’s my ex-husband. Even though I feel a decided lack of like for the man, God does command me to love him. But what does that love look like and how in the world do I do that?
I’ve been pondering it and this is what God has shown me:
I love because I’m loved.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us—Romans 5:6-8.
God loves me despite my failing, even if I’m not loving Him, when I’m yelling at my kids, when I’m complaining about my life, when I’m not trusting Him…when I’m struggling with everything. He loves me with the purist and deepest love possible.
And because I’m so beautifully loved by my Father, I choose to love others.
Maybe loving my ex-husband looks like this…treating him kindly, not wishing him ill, and offering some prayers on his behalf.
I love because I have faith…it’s a choice.
Love one another as I have loved you—John 15:12.
God chooses to love me. I choose to love others.
My Christian life is all about faith. Faith that God is going to enable me to do what He has called me to do. Faith that God is going to work in my life regardless of the difficulties. Faith that God loves me relentlessly.
My security in God’s love gives me a strong foundation for loving others… even the unlovable.
I love because God commands me to love.
And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets"—Matthew 22:35-39.
God doesn’t tell me to try to love others, He tells me to love others. He tells me to love as I want to be loved.
I must ask myself, “How do I want to be loved?” I want to be loved unconditionally, compassionately, relentlessly, faithfully, kindly, patiently, and perfectly.
Wow, that’s gonna be difficult. I totally need God’s help.
I absolutely can’t do this without God.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me—Philippians 4:13.
The love I offer others is All God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control; against such things there is no law— Galatians 5:22.
Love is all about God. He is love after all. It doesn’t get any more basic and complicated. I’m trying to wrap my brain around that…He is love. Any real love I offer or receive is Him.
God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him—1 John 4:16b.
I have faith that whatever God calls me to do, even loving when it’s difficult, He will enable me to do.
Contributed by Sue Birdseye