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Will I love?

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. - Oscar Wilde

Love is extremely important and valuable in our lives.  To know we are deeply loved is an instinctive need in every one of us.  It is something that every person everywhere has been wired to need, and a great many people in our world suffer without.  We live in a world which deepens the divide between people and starves of what we all really need.  It creates in us fears and tells us that we are better off without others because then we cannot be hurt.  We live in a world which misunderstands completely what love is.

For many people love is an emotion.  They fall in love and fall back out of it when the feelings stop.  For others love is a sexual desire.  They only feel loved when having sex.  And the feelings don’t usually last long.  Others love is responding to the passions inside, chasing the dream.  And when the dream is fulfilled, or taken away due to circumstances beyond our control we feel lost and empty.

Love for many people speaks of warm feelings, romantic encounters, and soft touches.  We think of flowers and puppies and all kinds of other warm feelings.  But love goes way beyond simply warm passionate feelings.  Jesus said “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” John 13:34-35 MSG.  As Christians we are called to love like Jesus did and often we completely misunderstand what love is.

Love goes beyond feelings to requiring us to put others first.  Love says that I will look out for your best interests, not just your comfort.  Love speaks difficult things because we need to hear them.  Jesus also said in Matthew 23:27 “It is bad for you, teachers of the Law and proud religious law-keepers, you who pretend to be someone you are not! You are like graves that have been made white and look beautiful on the outside. But inside you are full of the bones of dead men and of every sinful thing.”  NLV  And Jesus said it completely in love.  We don’t usually think of God loving people when He spoke these words and others like them.  But God cannot act outside of His nature and character and 1 John 4:8 Those who do not love do not know God because God is love.”  NLV  God’s very nature is one of deep love, so Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees with love in His heart, and saying, what we would say are, some very harsh and seemingly unloving words.  And yet we know from history that there were many of the Pharisees who responded in time to the message of Jesus and became His followers.

In a world gone crazy with political correctness there is a new need for people to stand and love one another like Jesus said.  It does mean caring for our needs and seeing people as valuable regardless of their current situation, but it also means saying things that need to be said.  Ephesians 4:15 Instead, by truth spoken in love, we are to grow in every way into Him—the Anointed One, the head. Voice  There is much that we can do and become if we are willing to speak up and say what needs to be said, and also to hear when others speak to us.  All of us have areas in our lives which we are blind to and behaviors that need to change and we need people who will love us enough to say something to us.  Love isn’t always a warm fuzzy.  Sometimes it is being pulled up short by those around us who care deeply for us and can see our potential and are willing to jump in and cause us to see things in our lives that need to change.

We all need to know love.  But not just a warm fuzzy love, but a love that causes us to see and grow into our full potential.  A love that was first demonstrated by Jesus and passed on to His followers.  A love that we all need to know and share.

1 comment on “Will I love?

  1. To love like Jesus we must know Jesus and have had a personal encounter with Him who declares Himself to be God and thus tells us that He is love. I believe the issue here is that, when it comes to Jesus, many have had a ‘warm fuzzy’ and have not experienced real love – God’s love. Thus they are really unable, as cultural Christians, to give what they do not yet have. Just a thought.

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