It’s 20 days into February and I haven’t posted a single blog this month. Yes, I have been busy, but the truth is, I’ve been scared.
As I said in the month of February I’d talk about love. (Fitting, I know.) But this month I have become so discouraged as I look at the world around me. Who loves anymore? It’ll only take you thirty seconds on social media to understand what I’m saying….
A few nights ago I lay awake tossing and turning. I was thinking about my friends who are turning away from God thinking that they’ll find love in what seems enticing in our world right now only to be left continually searching for love. I was thinking about Disney and the fun but very inaccurate love stories it shares. I was thinking about the past year and the times when I felt unloved. I was thinking about you, my friend, whoever you may be that stumbles upon my blog. Feeling so overwhelmed about this four letter word, (l.o.v.e) I asked God what I should write about. It was not an audible voice of course, but it was very clear that God’s answer was: “Write what you know.”
So this, my friend, this is what I know:
I know that this month I have been so convicted. As I overhear conversations or scroll through social media, I’ve been so quick to point out the people who are not loving. But God has taken my gaze from out there to in here, my heart. He’s brought to mind several opportunities that I overlooked or brushed aside that could have easily been an opportunity for me to love someone. I’ve thought of my needs far more than I’ve thought of other people’s, and that is not love. My heart is heavy because I realized that I always thought of myself as a loving person, and that was my danger.
October was a super rough month for me and my “love tank” was running dry. Since then, it’s begun filling back up again, but as that’s happened, I’ve realized my own insecurities. I’ve hid them well and I don’t want anyone to see them because I am a loving person and that’s what I want people to think.
But am I?
I surround myself with people who I think will make me happy and will make me feel included. My “love tank” begins to fill which makes me feel great, and then in turn I can pour out upon others. But how sturdy is my foundation of love because people will disappoint, people will hurt me and then my “lovey” feelings will get crushed. How loving am I if I pepper people with compliments and smiles, but cheat them out of sharing the reason for my smiles – the joy found in Christ? How loving am I if I heart someone’s Facebook status but don’t take the time to call up this friend, hear her heart, and begin paving the way for a Gospel conversation?
What I do know, has hit me hard, square in the face. I don’t know how to love.
- I don’t know how to love as well as I should.
- I don’t know how to love as well as I want.
- I don’t know how to love in the way that people deserve to be loved.
Why? Because I’m so quick to look at this unloving world around me and think that I’m better. I’m so quick to let a compliment boost my pride that makes me feel good, so that I feel like loving. I’m so quick to be distracted by anyone and everything expect the One who is the very definition of love.
I don’t want the kind of love this world has to offer. I don’t want love from my fair-weather friends. I’m tired of my own feeble and insecure heart that tries to grasp onto something to sustain me. It will last for a little while, but will always go away.
But I know the One who is love and created love. The One who is love died for me. Jesus didn’t even want to do it, but He did, because that was the ultimate act of love. Maybe the greatest part is that the love of God is not just some historical event…it’s the active work of God in my life. It’s the love of conviction when my heart begins to stray. It’s the love of a hen protecting her chicks by her wings. It’s the love of the greatest friend because He will never, ever leave me. It’s the love of Jesus actively working in my heart and daily renewing me. It’s the strongest love there ever is, and ever will be. It’s the love of God.
I will fail. That’s not my Uno skip card giving me permission to make a mistake. It’s me being honest with you, because I’ve already done it this year and will do it again. But when I fail, I want to go back to the basics and look at the immense love of God. And to help me prevent from failing, every day, I want to go back to the basics and saturate myself in the truth of God’s love for me, and for all people.
I’m not the best loving person, but I know the One who is. So on good days, or on bad days, I want to snatch the opportunity to remind those I interact with, or maybe introduce for the first time, people to the One who I know will always truly love.
I’m generally not a “one size fits all kind of person” but with this, I am. We can’t know what love is on our own. Even if you don’t believe in God, you have your own idea of what is loving and what is not. So my question for you is, how did you come up with that? Where is your foundation? I wonder, oh, I just wonder what would happen if people started looking for love outside of themselves and the people around them. I bet they would realize that things are empty and there’s a missing piece. I wonder what would happen if they allowed themselves to encounter the love of God and take a leap of faith, to test Him and see if this love is real.
The reality is, I don’t know how to love outside of allowing God to work in my life. I don’t know how to love apart from seeing Him, and wanting to be closer and closer to Him. I don’t think I’ll ever truly and fully love the way I hope to, but I love itself (God) is on my side, so in that there is hope.
How can you grow in your love today?
1 John 4:7-12 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”
1 Corinthians 16:14 “Let all that you do be done in love.”
John 13:34-35 “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
1 John 4:18-19 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Romans 12:9-10 “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Ephesians 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great…”