Remembering that we all have our moments and we are just as hard to love as anyone else.
We must be ever diligent in making Love our defining attribute because we seek to be like Christ. Jesus did everything out of Love for us. He came and lived among us and was tempted in all ways as a human being. We don’t always think of all that means. It doesn’t only mean he was tempted to indulge in the standard things but also tempted to be angry and annoyed and hateful toward people. How easy would it have been to be angry while hanging on a cross having been nailed there by the very people you came to save but Jesus on that cross said forgive them, they know not what they do.
Everything we experience in our lives, no matter how hard give us tools. each experience like a key. We walk through our lives picking up keys. Not knowing what they’re for not even knowing that we have even picked these keys up until the day comes when we meet the person who has the lock those keys open. The person we have unknowingly been specifically trained to minister to the one we had been hand selected by God to display his love.
Love doesn’t mean hugs and kisses. It doesn’t mean doodling heart shapes or candy boxes. It doesn’t even mean happy feelings. To be loving to a person means that you treat them with 3 things.
- Faithfulness: Being faithful means to be loyal. Not to the person but to God. We know how much God values each of us. To treat a person who is testing your patience, with the same value that God places on them is loyalty to God is faithfulness. Keeping in mind how God doesn’t give up on you and carrying that idea into the way you treat people. It can be very easy when a person or a situation is frustrating or isn’t making you happy for one reason or another, to just take off. To just scrap the relationship. I’m not talking about just having some distance for a bit or giving things time to cool down and sometimes people absolutely need to be at a distance. But being faithful means that they won’t have trouble seeing you are there. When we do wrong things, we act like children before God. Just like Adam and Eve, instead of facing God we run, and we hide. Sometimes, honestly, we need to do that because we need time to think about what we did and why we need to figure out how to do the right thing. All the while though God is there he does not turn away from us and when we come back he is there to receive us.
- Reflectiveness: Remember that you have been forgiven. Remember that the things a person does that you may find annoying, wrong, dumb, pointless, etc… sorry to break this to you but you probably do the some, if not all of the same things. The Bible says we have ALL fallen short. Not just some. Its hard to be loving when think of someone as being less than us. Yet sometimes believers forget their transformation and the forgiveness given them when they see new believers or even those who might become believers.
- Mercy: mercy is a term we don’t think about enough. What mercy means is that though it may be someone’s just right to expect something from us, that instead they give us mercy. God has the right to send us to hell because he made rules and we absolutely broke them no defense no excuse. Justice for a broken law is that the one who broke that law be punished, be given the appropriate consequence for their action. As sinners, justice is that we all go to hell. Without mercy that’s our fate. It’s not an insult it’s just the truth. When we start thinking of ourselves as being different than everyone else we can disconnect from the fact that we also need mercy and it’s ridiculous to want and ask for and expect mercy when we don’t give mercy.
If we can make sure we try our best to include Faithfulness, Mercy and take the time recall that we too struggle sometimes and we have ourselves fallen short and received great love and mercy in those times we needed it. If we can bring all that into our interactions with people, then are treating people lovingly.
RC Sproul said
“In the New Testament, love is more of a verb than a noun. It has more to do with acting than with feeling. The call to love is not so much a call to a certain state of feeling as it is to a quality of action”
Jesus is love and we are all trying to be like Jesus. The closer we get to him the more we will resemble love, the more we will be identified with love. Just like Jesus. “and by this we will be known, by our love”.