Loving As God Wants Us To
You may be thinking it’s impossible to love like God does and you would be right. We can’t love exactly as God does because we aren’t God. So why bother? Well, because he commands us to. Through Bible study and practice we can learn to love as God wants us to. We may not be perfect at it but throughout the Bible, we are taught to give it our best shot, to never stop trying to love as closely to how God does as we can.
According to 1 Corinthians 14:1a, love is to be our highest goal. In the previous chapter of 1 Corinthians, the famous chapter on love, Paul tells us what love is and what it is not. He also tells us if we live a life without love, we have nothing. So in order to love, as God wants us to, we must look at these two things: what it is and what it isn’t.
What Love Is
In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 the Bible says, love is patient and kind. It rejoices with the truth, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always persevere, and it NEVER FAILS! So if we are going to love, as God wants us to, we need to be nice to each other and take care of each other all the time. Notice how many times the word ‘always’ is used. It doesn’t say sometimes, but always. We should be kind to each other all the time, lift each other up all the time, and help each other through difficult times, never giving up. It has nothing to do with feelings. It’s about choosing to love. We’ll talk more about that in a bit.
LOVING THOSE WHO ARE DIFFERENT THEN OURSELVES
Loving others doesn’t just apply to people we know, but also to all those folks we don’t know but come in to contact with in our daily lives. In today’s world we see so much prejudice and hate because of our differences. God made us different for a reason! He didn’t want conformity but unity! He WANTS us to honor our differences not complain about them. When we criticize or complain about those who are different from us, we are saying God didn’t know what he was doing and that he made a mistake. God doesn’t make mistakes! God commands us to love ALL; he makes NO exception for race, religion, or gender.
Our ultimate example of this type of love is Jesus. He loved ALL people regardless of gender, color, or nationality and that’s how we are supposed to love as well. You can’t love as God wants you to and be prejudiced….you just can’t.
WAYS YOU CAN LOVE STRANGERS
You can show strangers love by holding the door open for them at the store, letting them go ahead of you in line, or maybe just by smiling and say hello! It’s all about being kind. If you see a need, meet that need. Perform a random act of kindness! There are all kinds of different ways to show love to people we don’t know. Use your imagination! In 1 Corinthians 16:14 it says “Let all that you do be done in love.”
What Love Is NOT
1 Corinthians 13 also states love is NOT envious, boastful, proud, rude, self-seeking, easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs and it doesn’t delight in evil. So in order to love, as God wants us to, we can’t be self-centered or selfish. We can’t allow our feelings, emotions, or pride to control our behavior or our mouths! So many times the tongue gets us in trouble. I for one sometimes have a problem with letting my mouth get in the way of loving others, as I should. Thankfully, God’s still working on me in that area! You can read more about it in my post called How To Learn To Control Your Mouth.
We also have to remember to not allow our feelings to control how we treat others. We are not always going to feel like showing love. When we are hurting, tired, in pain, stressed or a host of other feelings, we must NOT allow our feelings to control our conduct. Lashing out is never the right answer.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Ok, so we’ve talked about what love is and what it isn’t so how do we apply what we’ve learned. There are a few things we can remember that will help us.
We Are Made In God’s Image
Throughout the Bible we are told that God is love and that He can’t not love. It’s who he is! His love is unconditional and everlasting. And since we are made in his image (Genesis 1:27), we also have the capacity to love as he does once we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This doesn’t mean we will change overnight but with time, it will develop.
Think of it as a seed God plants inside of us. We have to water it daily through Bible study, prayer and the choices we make and as we do these things, it grows.
Love Is A Choice
A key thing to remember is; love is a choice, not a feeling. We choose to love. We may not always like what others do but we can ask God to help us see them through his eyes and choose to love them anyway.
It also doesn’t mean we have to always be around difficult people. Sometimes the best way to show love is to walk away instead of saying something we shouldn’t (even though in our eyes they may deserve it). If we live as God wants us to we MUST choose to love others.
Understand that God NEVER wants anyone to be abused. Sometimes you have to leave a situation to protect yourself. This is NOT giving up on love. This is removing yourself from a dangerous environment.
Do Your Research
Do a word search on love in the Bible and you’ll find more than 280+ references about it. Here are just a few
There are so many more. Look up all of them! Do a GOOGLE search and fill your mind with God’s words on love!
MAKE THE CHOICE TO LOVE
There’s a prayer about God’s love that I heard once that said:
“May your love guide what I say, what I think and what I do”.
If we all lived that way, wouldn’t the world be a better place?
I challenge you to apply what we’ve talked about today. Let God’s love guide everything you say, everything you think and everything you do. Remember that Paul said “If we live a life without love, we have nothing.”
Remember that love is a choice you make every day with every person you come into contact with and choose to love as God directs in his Word.
If this was helpful to you, I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment below and if you’d like to get all the new posts sent straight to your email, please sign up for my newsletter and you won’t miss a thing!
Remember, I’m always praying for you. If you have a prayer request, please send me an email and I will honored to join you in prayer. Take care my friends and be safe!