Life for many has never been busier. With ever-increasing demands on our time, it’s easy to lose ourselves in tasks and neglect relationships. The problem is that in our focus on getting things done, we can inadvertently find ourselves isolated and operating in a vacuum. If left unchecked, it leads to or compounds any feelings of rejection and abandonment and plays into the hands of our enemy who is forever looking to divide and conquer.
Jesus prized relationship over any task. His highest value was love. But love cannot operate in isolation; it requires a focus, an object of our affection. Love asks that we let the walls down and make ourselves vulnerable. Love is simple to say and hard to practice. Love costs. Love is eternal.
True love is only possible with intimacy. That depth of love only works in the context of vulnerability, and we must be prepared to take the risk. Being vulnerable means that while we love, we must also be open to being loved by others. I want to receive love, but I know that I can stop other people in their tracks by putting up walls of protection. Letting my walls down is one of the greatest and most necessary of risks. I can only give from what I receive, but the outcome is that I increase in love until my life becomes one of overflow.
God doesn’t leave us alone to figure out how to love. He knows us better than we know ourselves and He provides us with practical help and a guiding hand as we learn to love as He loves, from glory to glory.
1 Corinthians 13:4–7 (MSG)
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always,
Always looks for the best, never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
There are a number of ways that I think about love in relation to my family, my work, and myself. The new commandment in John 13:34–35, talks about loving others as we have been loved by God.
John 13:34–35 (NASB)
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
When I meditate on this reality, I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of the love freely given and the love I am to lavish on others. Jesus lavishes His love on me. I am to be as extravagant in my expression of love.
Here are some questions to help you meditate with God on the wonder of His love for you and everyone around you.
Adapted from Andee Sellman’s book “Reflections on the Fruit of the Spirit”. You can purchase any of the titles from the Land of Seven Rivers Foundational Series in either e-book or paperback format by following the link https://www.landofsevenrivers.org/store.html
Andee Sellman is the founder of Land Of Seven Rivers.
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