“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life,” John 3:16. Through the Holy Spirit, loving others should be easy, right? For me, it depends on the day. Ha! That sounds crazy, but it’s true.
There are days when loving others comes easy, and then there are days when loving others is more challenging than running. If you know me, you know running is no easy task! I’ve found the most challenging time for me to love others is during a time of pain or struggle. 1 Peter 1 tells us to rejoice in times of trials. If we have the Lord in our heart, we will have everlasting peace in Heaven.
Loving others is a little easier through the power of the Holy Spirit than trying on our own. I am not saying loving one another will be easy...living life is not easy especially disconnected from the Lord. What does it mean to LOVE? 1 Corinthians 13 paints a picture of how we should love others. Love is described as patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, not dishonoring, not self-seeking, not keeping record of wrongs, not delighting in evil but REJOICING in the Truth. Love protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. We are then reminded that love never fails.
God actually explains love as a selfless act. To be able to love another is to put others before yourself. Think on this: Would you be willing to lay down your life for a friend? How about an enemy? God loved us, He gave us - undeserving and sinful - a model, Jesus, in the flesh without sin to be our Savior. Jesus died and rose from the grave to save us, you and me, not himself.
So, how are you doing loving others? Not just because it is the Christmas season, and most of us are joyful during this time. There is something about Christmas that brings JOY. But, we must remember that we are created to love in all seasons. We are created to love others during their pain and trials. We are created to love others even in our own pain and suffering. We are created in the image of Christ which is perfection. I am not saying we are created to be perfect; we are created through perfection from Christ.
Loving others has always been somewhat of an easy task for me…well, for the most part. Not too long ago, there was a point in my life, where loving others was not easy at all. You see, during that valley I was hurting, the pain and struggle during that time was real. To be honest, I wondered if I would ever be back to my “old self.” Guess what...I am not. The Lord allowed me to grow to a deeper spiritual place that I would never have obtained without pain.
Depending on your journey at the moment, you may not want to hear this...but, the Lord takes the bad and creates something good. From my valley, I experienced pain, sadness, and guilt. As the Lord held me through that valley, He showed me a love I never knew before. He showed me how to face the pain and begin walking out of the valley not on my own but with His strength.
Even in our trials and pain, the Lord loves us. He is willing to walk beside us to guide us out of the valley. Are we willing to do that for others? Are we willing to love others during all of the seasons? Are we willing to love others during the bad to witness the good that the Lord has in store?
I will leave you with this: To be able to love the way Christ loves, you surrender yourself and walk by the Holy Spirit. This is a daily task, and is nothing that can be obtained on your own. Through Christ we can love others, even when we believe they are undeserving...because guess what, so are we! I encourage you to love one another more often.
The greatest commandments Jesus gives us in Matthew 22:37-38 are to
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
When you love the Lord, you walk with the Spirit. Walking with the Spirit allows loving your neighbor as yourself to be much easier.