One thing that I have noticed in myself, is that I love loving people that love me back. Isn’t that just the greatest? When the person you love, equally loves you, and pursues you, doesn’t that just feel great. That’s rhetorical, of course it does. Over this last year, God has challenged me on the topic of love. In past friendships, I would easily give up. If I was loving the person more than they were loving me, I would eventually let the friendship fade out, and would stop trying. I became so tired of loving people that didn’t fully love me, that I just wanted to stop loving them. See the problem here? Loving others isn’t about them returning the love back, it’s about loving them anyway. I am not saying you put up with being treated badly. If you are in a relationship or friendship with someone who isn’t treating you the right way, don’t use this as an excuse to stay. What I am trying to say is we love people because God loves us.
One night, a few months ago, I was talking to God, and I felt that he called me to love this person. This person was my friend, and someone I already loved as a friend. I didn’t understand why God would call me to love them if I already did. It wasn’t until the next day, that I realized why God had said that. The day God told me to love my friend, it was so easy. It was obvious, fun, and just simple. The next day, I didn’t feel loved at all by that friend. It wasn’t intentional, it was just life. I found it was so easy to love my friend when I felt loved back. But the next day, when I didn’t feel the love reciprocated, I realized the challenge in loving people. To love well, is to continue to love whether they love you or not. God has called us to love our enemies, not to torture us, but to teach us. Loving those who love you is easy, the challenge comes when you love those who don’t. If we love based upon someone’s love for us, we may always find a reason to stop loving. But if we love, because God first loved us, and we want to pour that onto others, our love will only continue to grow. I have learned so much from God calling me to love this one friend of mine, and I feel as though I am beginning to love better.
All people want to be loved. I mean, just look at the media, the magazines, the songs we sing. We are all crying out to be known and loved. Knowing this, we can begin to love on those different from us, those who are hard to love, those who don’t and will never love us back. It is hard, but that is the point. Loving isn’t easy, and it takes work. Love isn’t a warm fuzzy feeling we get when that person is around, it is a choice we make everyday. We love because we are fully, unconditionally, and endlessly loved by our creator, God. It is because he loved us, that we can love others. It’s not about the love you get back, it’s about the love you give. So today, love better, love well, and love fully. Love those who give you a hard time, who make you angry, and don’t love you back. Loving them, will change their hearts, minds, and soul. Maybe you won’t get to see the affect your love has on them, but it could be the one thing that saves them. You point people to Jesus by loving them well.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “ Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance”
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.