Lately, I have been thinking about love. Not the romantic type of love. Rather, I have been thinking about the sacrificial kind of love. The kind of love that acts beyond feelings. The kind of love that serves the least. Love that has to be maintained, focused on, made a priority. Love that is not easy.
“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:8-10)
I can see it in us, in myself — we are all just human. It is easy to love those we like: our family and our friends. But as selfish humans, we tend to write off loving those people who are difficult to love. When we have to choose to love, instead of just “feeling it”? It is easier to say no thank you. In those moments, we have to choose to love these people. Yet, that is not enough.
Oswald Chambers wrote, “Neither natural love nor Divine love will remain unless it is cultivated. Love is spontaneous, but it has to be maintained by discipline.”
We not only choose to love. We have to choose to maintain love by discipline as well. But what does that really mean?
In his book on prayer, Timothy Keller wrote that just like learning any language, we learn prayer by first listening to someone else — namely, what God says in His Word. When our input comes from the Word of God, the outflow will line up with God’s will. Ever since reading that, I have been thinking whether we can apply this to love as well.
When the input comes from the Word of God and from how He loves us? Maybe we will be able to love when it’s hard. When we read of His love for us over and over again? Maybe we will understand better what love means in practice for us, too. And when we read about how much He has sacrificed for us because He loves us? Maybe then we will truly be willing to sacrifice our comfort and love when it’s hard.
I know it is not easy to maintain love when loving is hard. It takes discipline; it needs to be cultivated. But we have a God who sacrificed His everything to love us. So maybe, we can take the hard step and love as well.
GraceFull Tuesday Link-Up
GraceFull Tuesday is a family friendly link-up, meant for building a community full of grace and encouragement. This is the place for sharing what God has shown us, done in us or done in our lives, or how He has poured His grace on our lives.
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