What do you do when you love God…but don’t exactly feel the same way about His followers?
As much as I’d love to answer this question, there’s one huge problem with it. It’s based on the assumption that love is a feeling.
It assumes you can’t love someone unless you feel loving toward them.
That’s not true, because love is NOT a feeling. Love is an action.
Love is holding your child all night long because he has an ear infection and hurts when he lies flat. Love is saying to your spouse at the end of the very long day, “I’ll put the kids to bed” even though you’d much rather take a seat on the couch and rest. Love is bringing a casserole to a friend’s house because her mom just passed away. Love is staying up late to chat with a friend in need even though you have an early morning meeting the next day.
Love isn’t based on feelings. Love is based on a decision you make to put another person before yourself.
John said it well in 1 John 3:16-18:
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
So in reality, what this verse is telling us is that we can’t have the love of God in us and at the same time fail to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s just not possible!
If we love God-really love Him-we’ll love those around us.
Will it always be easy? Of course not, because let’s be honest. Some people are just hard to love.
But the truth is, if we love God, we WILL love others, even if it’s difficult.
This week, I’d like to challenge you to choose one or more of the ideas below to love those around you.
10 Practical Ways to Show Jesus’ Love:
- Write a note of encouragement to a staff member at your church.
- Send a loving text message to your spouse.
- Make heart-shaped pancakes for your children for breakfast.
- Bake treats to share (with a local fire department or police station, with your mail carrier, with your trash service team, at City Hall, with your neighbors, etc.)
- Call a friend and tell her one reason you appreciate her.
- Put together kits for the homeless in your community (include in a ziplock bag: snack foods, bandaids, water, toiletries, etc.) Leave these in your car to deliver to the next homeless person you encounter.
- Pick up a card at the store and mail it to someone.
- Pick up a copy of Roger and Kathi Lipp’s new book, Happy Habits for Every Couple, or join my 21 Day Challenge to Have a Better Marriage.
- Reach out to someone who might be a little bit harder to love. Send them a message on Facebook or take time to talk with them this week.
- Pick up someone’s bill at Starbucks or your favorite restaurant.
Matthew West had a hit song not long ago called “Do Something.” Take a moment to listen to this song, and then go out and DO SOMETHING!