Jesus talked a lot about love - loving God, loving our neighbors, our enemies, the poor, and society's outcasts. He even talked about loving ourselves. I'll share more about those later, but first, here are some general observations.
- Love applies in ALL situations and is the foundation of what it means to be good. For example, if you find yourself conflicted between being loving and being honest, you need to figure out how to share the truth in love. More about that later, too.
- I'm not talking about having warm, fuzzy feelings for each other. This is not even about liking each other. In fact, loving one another doesn't require that we like each other at all.
- Loving one another is about how we interact with each other. Do your words and actions show that you care about the other person and are willing to put the other person first?
You have probably heard one of the best definitions of love at a few weddings, but the words were actually written to apply to how we "love one another" and not just in our marriages.
They come from Paul of Tarsus who was Christ's primary champion in the 1st century. He established many churches in what is modern Greece and Turkey. Some of the letters he sent to them became part of what we know as the New Testament. To a church in Corinth, near Athens, he wrote:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (NLT)
How well do you show this kind of love to other people? If you were to take Paul's words and substitute your name for "love", can you say about yourself.....
I am patient.
I am kind.
I am not jealous.
I don't boast about myself.
I am not arrogant.
I am not rude.
I don't demand things be done own way.
I'm not irritable.
I don't hold grudges.
I don't rejoice when injustice happens, but rejoice whenever the truth wins out.
I never give up.
I never lose faith.
I am always hopeful.
I persevere, even when things get tough.
How did you do? Don't worry; we are all a work in progress! Improve where you need to. Share this, lovingly, with someone you think might need it.
Love is the foundation of all that we must do to make America good again.
Tomorrow: The Golden Rule