1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
Love is the greatest gift of all. We all need to be loved, adored and cherished by those we classify as close to us, including family, friends and loved ones. Love is the foundation of a good solid relationship because it chooses to look beyond ones’ faults. It says regardless of how much you have caused me pain, I choose to accept you as you are. Your love can set someone free today. Maybe someone has done you wrong, and you know how much they have hurt you. It takes a humble individual to swallow their pride and accept ones’ apology. The world we live in is failing in the area of love, so as true believers, let us be the light that shines bright and loves without no limits.
When I am writing my journal, I always express how my day went and what happened. Then when I remember what someone did to me, maybe a name pops up in my head, it draws me back, making it harder to function and prevents me from enjoying my ‘now moment’. If someone has offended me, I would write it down, as this helps me release the emotions and toxic thoughts controlling my mind, but eventually, this tends to create a pattern of bitterness, resentment, and anger. When people do you wrong, do you choose to dwell on it, or let it go? It is not always easy to love those that have spitefully used you, and sometimes it still keeps coming back. I personally believe that when these situations do arise, one should be wise about guarding their heart, for out of it flows the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).
Matthew [22:39] does say that we should “love our neighbour as we love ourselves” because if we love who we are, it should not be difficult to love others. People should see the love of God in us. Why? Because GOD IS LOVE and He requires us to love people because He created us in His own image. It is not enough to say you love God but dislike your neighbour. Now please do not misunderstand me here, yes, love is a great healing tool that binds and restores broken family issues and relational and friendship divisions, however, one must be wise about the thoughts they are carrying because the mind is our battlefield. We must endeavour to ensure that our thoughts are aligned not only to His Word but to the His true purpose, and what is His purpose? LOVE! Love is the reason why we are living today and love should be the reason that you show others, especially those who you think do not deserve it. After all, we do not even deserve His unmerited, undeserved Grace, so what makes us so special to ‘choose’ who we want to love?
I strongly believe you can love people, but not carry the WEIGHT of people. There is a difference. You will have to be intentional about those who surround you, in particular, your inner circle. If you have a group of friends that you know influence you well, it is very easy to love them. But those who you find hard to reach out to, you never know, God could be using them to test you according to the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). One of the fruits that the Father is currently teaching me about is ‘self-control’. We all need it, no-one is exempt from it. We are sensitive beings and must understand the importance of compassion, a love that is never-failing. We all need support from time to time; but the real focus here is that when someone treats you wrong, it shouldn’t make us change our character towards the situation and start taking it out on other people. We must understand and know that with self-control, we have power over our circumstance. It takes a mature individual to notice ones’ inconsistent behaviour but still chooses to love them regardless. Still chooses to speak good things about them. Still chooses to help them when they fail. This results in growth, because where real love is, there is growth.
Have you ever responded unbecomingly to a situation (with anger or impatience), and thought, ‘Who is this person? I thought I was nice!’ Sometimes, we think we already have the fruit of the Spirit fully developed in us, simply because we are Christians. But when we are caught off guard, or our fruit is ‘squeezed’, we find out just how undeveloped the fruit in us actually is. These incidents are TESTS that are actually good for us because they help us know the areas where we are weak and still need to grow.
The more you practice displaying the fruit of self-control in your thoughts, words, and actions, the riper the fruit will become. I encourage you to depend on God’s Grace (undeserved favour and blessing) to work through you to produce the fruit needed. If we try to love with our natural instinct, we set ourselves up for failure, because human love is based on terms and conditions, but God’s love is unconditional. We must endeavour to love like God does. This takes hard work and effort and will not happen overnight. We will see authentic growth when we love genuinely, not for bribes, charm or bad intentions. God has given us the ability to care and tender for people, because if someone was to hurt your feelings, how would you like it? It is so easy to criticise and look down on those that have offended you, but remember to check yourself to ensure that you are guilt-free from anyone you may have offended too. Don’t be looking at me when you have a big beam in your eye Matthew 7:3. Choose love over hypocrisy.
How is your love life today? Are you loving those who love you back, and disliking those who dislike you back? What makes you stand out from the crowd? Anyone can love someone who loves them, but it takes a mature-minded individual to swallow their ego and say “I am really sorry about what happened last week, I want to make it up to you”. Yes, it may look weak, but in Gods’ eyes, you are STRONG! Not a lot of us today can humble ourselves to do this. Jesus IS our prime example of how we should consistently remain focused on loving others. When you are able to let go of your emotions and pride, and allow Him to strip you off all the baggage you have been carrying, then you will freely be able to love with a sincere heart, and all that you have been seeking for will come your way. The more love, the more growth, the less love, the less you grow. It is your decision.