Do we really know what love is?
Many will say that caring about their families shows that they love them. But what about the times we argue with them? Does that mean we have lost our love for them?
Perhaps not; but when you argue with someone you love, you are truly missing the point. How can someone say they truly love someone when the words of their arguments speak forth the idea loudly and clearly that they know better than anyone else?
1 Cor. 13:2 gives us an idea of what true love is not: “If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, ‘Jump’, and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.” (MSG)
You see, we may preach the Word of God or we may do great acts of faith, but if we want to show true love, we have to follow in Jesus’ steps — Jesus, the One who never put people down, the One who even disciplines in love.
This isn’t always easy to do, however, for human emotion and self-centeredness often takes over. But wouldn’t it be better to always show love and compassion for one another?
We moved into our current home in April of this past year, and one of the pleasures we’ve had this summer is getting to know our neighbours. Our immediate neighbour is an 87 year-old widow. You would never know that she’s 87, however. She is always out pulling weeds, mowing her grace, sweeping up her driveway, scrubbing the marks of the birds off her fence…Well you get the picture. It is very important to her to have a neat lawn.
This neat streak in her, however, quickly moved from being a mere quirk to being an annoyance when she came over this fall and asked us to please rake our leaves because they were blowing onto her lawn…
Having moved to this home from a country property, leaves were not something we ever worried about. They blew on and off regularly, and if there were any left in the spring, the lawn tractor easily mulched them. Therefore, we were both a bit aggravated by the request, and my wife is ashamed to admit that when she went out to rake those leaves, her heart was not exactly filled with love. As she worked, however, God began to speak to her about love. He reminded her that we pray for this dear lady daily, hoping to show her a picture of God’s love, hoping that she will want that love for herself. She realized then that her attitude was not exactly portraying God’s love! She repented then, and she went over to the lady’s house and apologized for her less-than-loving attitude.
Of course, the lawn didn’t stay free of leaves after that first day, for our red maple tree in the backyard is a very “giving” tree in the fall. The next day found my wife out cleaning the leaves once again. But this time, she didn’t just clean them from our yard. She cleaned the neighbour’s yard as well. Imagine my surprise when she came in smiling. “It’s fun to make her smile,” my wife explained; and over the course of the next few days, our elderly neighbour has become our dear friend.
What would have happened, however, if our response had been to tell the lady to mind her own business? I’m pretty sure that we wouldn’t be friends today. No love would have been shown, and the lady would have had no idea that God’s love is different from human love…
When people argue, no one is happy; but when we show love, anybody is happy.
But what IS love, really? Join us on Monday for “God’s Love”, Part 3.
(To access the entire “God’s Love in YOU” devotional series, please click here.)