34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
I love you is probably the most used phrase on earth, but the one problem with that phrase is with peoples actions in relation to them saying “I love you”. Jesus said Love is the most important commandment and for that reason one must know what love really means.
You may say love is a feeling or an emotion felt because of someone or something but I have an issue with this popular concept of love because it makes love reactive and that is not what true love is according to Jesus. Take note Jesus said as a disciple you must love others the way He loves, not the way we feel.
God’s kind of love is a decision to care about someone irrespective of how they act towards you. Love is not reactive, it is constant. Love does not depend on feelings instead it determines how you feel.
The parable of the prodigal son teaches us what God the father’s love is like. The father in that parable was disrespected, disappointed, ridiculed by his son but his reaction to him never changed. He was loved when he left and he was loved just as much when he returned. Infact the father did not let the son recite his practiced “forgive me” speech before he hugged, kissed and threw a welcome home party for him, now that is true love. If the father was going to love based on the sons actions he would never have welcomed him with a big hug, if the father’s love depended on the sons apology he would not have run to welcome him home. We have a God full of love.
This should teach us how to love people around us, sinners or saints. Do not condemn people thinking it will make them change instead love them like Jesus always did even in their sins and imperfections. God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8). Sinners in the greek means “active enemies”. God loved us when we were actively against his will, as his representatives on earth Christians must learn to love sinners the same way.
Knowing God’s love sets us up to love people the right way. Jesus wants us as his disciples to learn how to love not just ourselves but everyone the way God loves.
God’s love for humanity must be experienced before it can be shown to people, or else we risk misrepresenting Jesus in our daily reaction with fellow believers and also those who are not yet saved. Share the same grace that saved you with so much patience with others.
We can reach the world more by loving people like Jesus true disciples than by constant condemnation and criticism. Let your love be non reactive but constant.
Thought of the week: It is the goodness of God that leads to repentance not condemnation and wrath. Share God’s love everyday.