Most Christians know they are called by God to love, but what does that actually look like?
Society would have us believe love is a feeling, but the Bible portrays love as an action. We would contend that biblical love can be very difficult to do.
To start with, how do we love God? Is it by going to church, reading our Bible, or praying with others? On the basic level, how does one love God? Scripture indicates that if we love God, we will obey Him. As we read the Bible and implement His Word into our daily lives, we are loving Him. Simultaneously, our obedience to God’s Word translates into loving our fellow man.
Loving God with all our heart will be extremely challenging at times. For example, we know the Bible tells us to forgive those who sin against us. Oh, how difficult that can be! From the smallest irritation to the most heinous crime committed against us, we are to forgive. It might take one thousand times of crying and praying about an issue to truly forgive. In the end, peace will replace anger, and goodwill will replace retribution. That is when we know we are walking in love.
Love is more than overlooking a snub or burying the pain of being left behind in marriage. Love actually works through issues until they are under the blood of Christ, and all payback is let go of. When you discover that you still have ill will toward another or that you are hanging on to some painful memories, pray, tell God you want to give it all up to Him, and ask Him to heal you and love through you. Only God knows how many times you will have to do this to get a victory over the difficult issues in life.
Love is a decision, not simply an emotion. Love can be hard and painful to do, and it requires courage and perseverance. But love never fails. The more difficult the issue, the more powerful love becomes. You can know you are making progress when you let love cover over a sin instead of repeating the offense to another. Thank God He covers over our sins, and through Him, we can do the same for others. “The greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Love is a decision, not simply an emotion.
But, what about the past? How do we deal with all the pain we have stored up on the inside? It keeps hindering our ability to love today. Obstacles stemming from the past can be daunting, but they can be overcome. The hindrance might be a strongly held opinion or a painful memory that stands in the way of loving. If you cannot get past certain issues by yourself, talking with a trusted Christian friend or counselor is a great option. The more difficult issues may take quite a while to resolve. But take heart! Love is very powerful and capable of demolishing the pain of sin. You are on the right path. In the final analysis, love always wins.
Today is a great day to start walking in love. Ask God for His help to live the rest of your life loving Him and others more. This will put you on the right path and take care of today and all your tomorrows. Daily you will have to renew your commitment to love and rely on God for the strength to follow through.