Love greetings, everyone! Today I would like to put to practice what I have been learning at church and in my daily Bible reading plan. This year, at church, the emphasis is on Walking in Love. Coincidentally, in the last two weeks in my Bible reading plan, the focus has been Love. I could write, write and write about what I have learnt but I don’t think I will do justice to it like the original authors, writers and speakers of the sermons or articles I have been so blessed to read and listen to. So with a spirit of love, I want to share a day’s reading with you. I want to share it because it touched me. The whole subject of love as it is being presented, makes me look inward to assess my love level. Now this is just one day’s devotional reading. It’s day 53 of my Bible reading plan. There is a whole lot more but I just want to share this with you. Love shares, doesn’t it?
Love Is a Habit
Bible text: Luke 6:32, 1 John 4:16
If you only love on and off like a light switch, you do not love others like God wants you to love. Jesus said, “If you only love those who love you what credit is that to you?” (Luke 6:32 NIV)
His point is this: all of us can love those who love us back. Becoming a master lover means you learn to love the unlovely. It’s when you love people who don’t love you, when you love people who irritate you, when you love people who stab you in the back or gossip about you.
This may seem like an impossible task and it is – that’s why we need God’s love in us, so we can then love others: “We know and rely on the love God has for us.” (1 John 4:16 NIV)
When you realize how much God loves you – with an extravagant, irresistible, unconditional love – then his love will change your entire focus on life. If we don’t receive God’s love for us, we’ll have a hard time loving other people. I’m talking about loving the unlovely, loving the difficult, loving the irritable, loving people who are different or demanding.
You can’t do that until you have God’s love coming through you. You need to know God’s love so it can overflow out of your life into others.
Cultivating the Love Habit
Okay, it’s me now. When I read this piece, I went ‘wow, that is deep!’Can I do deep? It appears difficult. Maybe so, but the thing is anything I set out to do on my own becomes an experiment that may likely fail. So if I had set out to love the unlovely on my own, I am pretty sure I would have failed and found them (the unlovely) repelling! Not until I received God’s unconditional love for me did I realize that I can also love unconditionally. I knew something was changing in me when I found that my reaction to other people’s weaknesses, needs and pains was a feeling of empathy. Even the road side beggars that we mostly scorn and hiss at (and tell ourselves that they are deceptive and we need to be wary of them), I find myself wondering how they survive in this hardship and thinking of ways to help! That can only be the love of and from God!
Now, I consciously remind myself to do the things I was scared to do. To open my heart to loving the people around me and reaching out in any way that I can. I can provide support to those who need it because that is what love is about. It is living a life with love as a habit.
How is your Love-life like? How easy do you find loving the unlovely?