Lately I have been pondering what love really looks like. I guess I had been thinking about it because I was finding it difficult to love others. It is not too difficult to love the people that are easy to love but I was really struggling to love those difficult people, we all know that we have some of those kinds of people in our lives but we are called to love even them.
In 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 22 it says that we are to love one another deeply, from the heart. It means that we are not to love half heartedly but we are to love with all of our heart. In the message version it says to love one another as if your life depended on it.
When it puts it like that it makes me feel like in some areas of loving others I am failing miserably. It really challenged me to lift my game in the loving others department.
So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.” You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living. 1 Peter 1: 13-17 The Message
I love how it says in these verses to let your self be pulled into a way of life shaped by Gods life. A life that is energetic and blazing with holiness. The Lord wants us to align our hearts, minds and lives with His.
Now that we have Jesus living inside of us we can leave our old way of thinking and living behind and take up our new position as Gods children. Children who know the Lords nature as good, loving, kind and compassionate. We let ourselves be pulled into living a life shaped by Gods life, Gods nature.
So to lift my game in the loving others deeply department I began a process of aligning myself with the Lords heart once again. Reminding myself of His perfect nature, looking at what I really loved most about Him and then try to take up those qualities myself.
I remembered that I am unconditionally loved by my heavenly Father and that I had been taken into His family and there is plenty of love to go around. I am His precious daughter and I will never be with out so I do not need to have jealousy or envy towards others in my heart. Basically I filled myself up with thoughts on what my true identity is and that I am safe and secure in the Father and I can reach out and love others no matter what they say, what they do or what they think because these things have no affect on me in any way.
That is what really stops us from loving others well, how they react to us and the world around them. We often find ourselves not wanting to love them because they have a bad attitude so we think that they do not deserve our love and attention or that they have done something terrible so we think that they deserve their consequences and we do not extend mercy or grace to them.
But we are called to love others deeply, from the heart, so we need to make sure our hearts are in the right place, aligned with the Fathers heart, full of love, grace, mercy and compassion.
The verse above also says that when you call out to God for help He helps—He’s a good Father that way. If you are struggling in the loving others department or even in loving yourself then call out to God for help. And in His goodness He will come alongside you and show you the way.