“I love you”
Isn’t it amazing how three little words can have such a powerful impact? Yet they do because as people created in the image of God, this speaks to His very character and heart. God is love and He created us to love Him and each other. Have you ever been with someone who told you they loved you? These three words can have the power to transform your life when they are earnestly expressed from a genuine heart.
You can probably remember an experience in which someone affected you a great deal by either how helpful or poorly they loved you. We never forget the pain of love lost, love gone bad, or the absence of love. Chances are you probably have a few experiences of love seared deeply in your memory. While there are many things that give meaning and significance to our lives, like work, passions, activities, accomplishments, helping others – if we did not have love as a motivating force then none of these things would be worthwhile. What good would it be to have a huge house with a gorgeous swimming pool, exotic cars, tons of money, fancy toys, and no one that loves you to enjoy it with? (Click here to see what that looks like.)
As Paul says “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” (1 Cor. 13)
How we operate as a loving person will be the single most important factor in the course of our lives.
Events and people stay with us, the good and the bad – forever. They get inside of us. Emotions become attached to memories. This is why the Bible says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). It’s important to give a person time to show you who they are before allowing them access into your heart. Throwing open your heart to anyone who calls themself a “Christian” is a recipe for hurt, pain and disaster. Believe me, I know! This is why Jesus cautions us to be careful about false prophets. A loving and safe person will prove their love over time by being consistent, keeping their word, and encouraging you in your walk with the Lord.
Love is the highest calling that God has given us. (Matthew 22:36-40) The quality of our life is evaluated, measured, and affected by how much or how little we love. Learning how to authentically love others is one of the best things that anyone can do. Not only will your life be enriched, but you will bless the lives of others. If you want to be a loving person, you must actively show love to people. And if you want to love people, you need to be a person who is known to be someone who is kind, thoughtful, selfless, empathic and thinks of others. That is what love is. It desires and actively seeks what is best for others. As you can see, “loving” is both an adjective (describing someone who shows love) and a verb (the act of loving).
Jesus showed us by his words and actions how much He loved us. As we grow to be more in His image, we have a choice. We can choose to hold onto our sinful, selfish ways and be self-centered, controlling and prideful, or we can choose to give everything to God and seek His ways. Will it be easy?
Was the cross easy for Him?
Will it be worth it?
Has the cross been worth it for you? Hmmm… eternal life. Now THAT is the greatest expression of love you and I will ever receive.
Dr. Christy 😀