I love you. -God
Love is a strange word. You may use it to refer to all kinds of things: your favorite shopping mall, pizza, chicken wings, a hobby, or your hometown sports team. Colorado legalized marijuana last year, which recently inspired a woman to tell Time magazine that her relationship to this substance “is true love.”
The common thread running through much “love” talk is self-centeredness. Do you love something, or someone, because they make you feel good? Are you friendly—but only with people you consider friends?
Don’t mistake the pleasure of good feelings or personal rewards with true love. God’s love will lead you to listen to someone you may consider strange. It will make you willing to help someone who is hostile towards you. It will keep you from lashing out when someone judges you because of who you are, where you came from, your race, or your ethnic background.
God showed what kind of love he had for humans when he sent his Son into the world. He did so knowing people would reject him, scorn him, hate him, and finally put him on a cross. This is the kind of love that can inspire you to offer to help others, even if you risk ridicule or rejection.
So, you live in a world torn apart by war, hatred, hostility, sectarian strife, racial division, and other differences. What you can you do? In the same message where Jesus told people to love their enemies, he said this: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:7, NKJV).
This sentence became famous. Many know it today as the “Golden Rule.” In other words, treat others like you want to be treated. This is love as God defines it. It is the kind of love he has for you. Not only should that make you feel good, it should make you want to share it with others.
A Challenge For You…
Read John 21:15-17. Reflect on Jesus’ instructions to Peter. Who were the “sheep” Jesus was talking about? What kind of “feeding” and “caring” do you think Jesus wanted Peter to do? How can you carry out those same directions where you live? Write out a plan of action and tell a friend about it.
Let’s Talk About It
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