Updated: Apr 24, 2022
This past weekend our family had a celebration of life for my brother. It was comforting to hear the testimonies of how he had loved others and helped make their days brighter and their life better. Yet, in spite of his many talents and gifts, in spite of his belief in God, the countless bible studies, his own devotional writings and time spent with God, and the many good deeds he done for others for most of his life he felt like he wasn’t good enough. Going through life thinking you are not accepted by God is a fearful way to live, yet I’m concerned there are many like my brother who struggle with believing God loves them.
As I have navigated through a mountain of mixed emotions this week I have come to this conclusion - nothing is more important in this life than loving God and loving others and, knowing we are loved by God. In fact, Jesus summed up all the laws of God by stating love God and love others as yourself.
Loving and being loved is the most powerful expressions known to humanity. Love is more powerful than hate. Love empowers us to climb higher. Love can diffuse anger and overcome evil. Love covers a multiple of sins. Love is the greatest of all virtues, and yet, it is a work I continue to fall short. Why is it that something so beautiful as to love God and love others is so difficult to express?
Loving God and loving others is difficult especially when we don’t “feel” like loving, or don’t feel loved. There are many factors that come into play when it comes to our feeling to love. There are people and situations where expressing love goes against what we have been taught, or against how we are feeling. Sometimes we are just too tired to put in the effort. Sometimes we’re hurting or angry. Sometimes we are instructed or expected to not be loving. Sometimes we are just human and fail. Love isn’t just something we feel, it is something we experience. In those times we don’t “feel” like loving, may be the times perhaps more than any other we should pursue love. Because if we don’t pursue love we will pursue something less, which is loving less. Likewise, love is full of grace when others fall short.
So here is a definition of love I learned many years ago. “Love is seeking the best good of the object of its concern.” I love that definition. Love is when I in my relationships seek what is the best good for the other person. Not seek the best good for me; but seek the best good of the other person. Expressing love is giving others the best of us. Expressing love is doing what helps others to be better. Expressing love is showing compassion. Expressing love is treating others the way we would want to be treated. Expressing love is confronting others in love and compassion whose behaviors are harmful to their existence and/or their relationships.
Love isn’t easy to express, but it is one of life’s most beautiful expressions when it is expressed. We are never more like God than when we express love to others. I may never conquer my failure to always love, but I will always pursue love. LOVE WINS!
Lord, I seek to be more like you than anything else in this world. Transform my heart to love better and to love more. Give me the strength when I’m weak to express the kind of love that benefits others and reflects your nature.