I used to read a lot of self-help books, or books meant to empower you with confidence and assurance of faith. Now I’m more interested in hearing people’s stories rather than how I can be like them or do things the way they did. Fellowship with Christ makes us more like Him, and we are called to love like He loves.
There are places we can still be immature in even as adults. Some standards and expectations can be unrealistic, and when they’re unmet by others we’re left disappointed and feeling hurt. When you read the stories in the Bible you see how even when people had been hurt by others or disappointed they still continue to love others well, obey the Lord, and depend on Him.
In the words of Ann Voskamp, “You are, at your essence, not what you think, but what you love.” Jesus said it first, “where your treasure is there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
Ann continues, “We are compelled not by what we believe is right, but by what we love the most. You are not driven by duties, you are not driven by doctrines; you are driven by what you ultimately desire--and maybe you don’t actually really love whatever you think you love?”
Micah 6:8 says, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
We need love in our hearts in order to know what is good, to act justly, and to be able to walk humbly with God.
1 Corinthians 13 says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
Are we keeping our love conditional? Are we keeping our love from others when we’re hurt and offended? Love is not irritable or resentful; it is not arrogant or rude (1 Corinthians 13).
Loneliness can open doors to bitterness, but remember what love is. Recall what the Lord says real love is when it’s genuine and true. Nothing should stop us from loving others well.