Love is in the air. Valentine-themed merchandise fills the stores: candy, chocolate, helium balloons, lingerie, flowers, mugs, cards. You name it—the word on the street is love.
We see the same word in Ephesians 5:1-2, but here it carries a much deeper meaning. It challenges us to a lifestyle of love, not just a sentimental annual display of retail-based affection. It says, “Follow God’s example in everything you do because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins.”
How easy it is to express love by spending a few dollars on a card or candy or flowers. But how challenging it is to put love into action, to express it on an ongoing basis to someone who has caused us pain, or to extend it to someone who, by all human standards, seems unlovable for one reason or other. And yet that’s what God tells us to do—to make love our lifestyle based on Christ’s example of sacrificial love for us.
This morning my thoughts have returned often to an individual who has caused me deep pain in the recent past. I have tried—unsuccessfully, it seems—to demonstrate love in action. Part of me wants to wash my hands and walk away, but another part of me says that doing so is the wrong response. And so I pray for God to help me persevere, and to reflect His love through me for this individual even though there’s no guarantee that I’ll see my desired outcome.
Making love my lifestyle in this situation might cost me something more than money, and I might gain nothing in return. But isn’t that what true love is all about? Isn’t that what Christ demonstrated on the cross? He loved us before we ever loved Him, and His love cost for us cost Him dearly.
It’s so easy to love people when they love us in return. Not so much when they scorn us. By God’s enabling, though, we can persevere. We can do what He calls us to do—live a life filled with love for others regardless of how they respond.
Have you experienced a supernatural ability to love someone who treated you badly? If so, how?
#bgbg2 #TrueLove #devotions