How can you maintain persistent love for someone else? You have to get refueled.
“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” (1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT, second edition).
The kind of love that really makes a difference in this world requires a big effort on your part, but you’ll enjoy huge rewards.
Sometimes you just don’t feel like you have any more love to give. Maybe you’re in a people-intensive job, such as teacher, salesman, or waitress, and you come home and think, “I just can’t face another need, another problem, or another heartache.” So you just shut down.
Or you need to show love to a particular person who is demanding, selfish, and never returns your love. And you just think to yourself, “I’m done. No more.”
While that’s perfectly natural and perfectly human, it’s not the standard of love God calls us to. The Bible says, “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” (1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT, second edition). Love never gives up.
How can you have that kind of patient love for another person? You get refueled.
When my kids were young, I remember taking the family to a nearby air show. It was so impressive to see how they would hook up a tanker to a jet in flight to refuel. I’ll never forget that.
But, can you imagine someone flying a jet saying, “I don’t need to refuel!” The jet would crash and burn. In a long-distance flight, a jet has to refuel.
To give the kind of patient love that God wants you to give, you have to refuel your love tank. Look around at society, and you’ll see it’s littered with debris from relationships that have crashed and burned because people didn’t refuel their love.
How do you refuel your love tank? You start by letting God love you. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NIV). When you’re worn out, tired, and can’t imagine showing love to anyone else, remember that God loved you so much that he sent his Son to die for you.
Now that’s real fuel. And that’s what keeps you going.
Talk It Over
- What do you need to do this week so you can refuel and love others well?
- What are the characteristics of God’s love that you can exemplify?
- Who have you lost faith in or given up on? How can you show love to that person today?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.