Love is the greatest commandment, the core and force of the Christian faith. In a world filled with pain and hurt we lose sight of this beautiful gift. We not only fail to receive, but we also fail to give. Then, just when we feel overwhelmed, we are reminded of Gods love through the joy of our children, the friendship of our spouse, the caring ways of a friend, or just a random act of kindness from a stranger. I step back and pause as I am humbled. These outward expressions remind me that I am not alone, that I am loved.
God is love.
1 John 4:8
Yet, what if love didn’t just grace our doors by those that love us? What if we experienced love and kindness from those we have hurt or were mean to? It would blow our minds. Wouldn’t we stop and question what was different? This is what God has planned for us, not just to love those that “earned” it but to love those that don’t deserve it.
- Love your enemies and pray for them that persecute you (Matt. 5:44)
This is so much easier said than done. I realize this. That is why we need our big God to work these everyday miracles in us and through us. Loving our enemies and doing good to them. Don’t wait for them to do something nice first. Show them the love of Christ. We received Christ’s undeserved love, we should also be willing to give it.
- Do good to your enemies, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. (Luke 6:35)
- Don’t repay evil for evil. If someone does you wrong, don’t feel you have to get even with them. (1 Peter 3:9)
- Love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:31)
How much do we care for ourselves? Would we be content without a meal, clothing, a roof over our head? Are we concerned about being right with God? Think about what you desire for yourself, even the bare essentials, and consider if you care enough for your neighbor to also have their needs met. I don’t mean making your neighbor dependent on you for their basic needs, but being willing to help a neighbor take the next step…whether it is sharing Christ with them, connecting them with food pantries, making them a meal, being a listening ear, or whatever the case may be.
We as a society are in survival mode. We think about number one, and that is all we can handle. Maybe this season of life that really is all you can handle, but if not consider looking outside your four walls. There are opportunities all around us.
In the story of the good Samaritan. A priest , and a Levite passed by a wounded pedestrian. They were too busy to stop or just not interested. But a Samaritan passed by and took time to bandage his wounds. He then proceeded to take him to an inn to care for him while he recovered. He valued human life. He could have been just as busy as the priest and Levite, but the Samaritan decided to do good, not just look good.
He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.
Lets pray for the love only God can give us. Love that doesn’t come naturally. Love that loves our enemies and does good to them; that loves others greater than ourselves. This love is rare and beautiful, it is Christ emanating through us.
Photo Credit: by Pokeychan