So whether or not you buy into the whole “Jesus thing”, I think you and I would both agree that as Deon Jackson sings, “love makes the world go round”. Kidding. But seriously, would you not agree that people who are in loving relationships thrive and those who are not, well, don’t? I mean even if you are one of those people who says you don’t need anyone, you know deep, deep, maybe deep, deep down that you do and you are only saying that because someone left you high and dry and you REF– USE to feel that way again. So love. It’s a pretty important word.
BUT…you may be thinking, and this is a BIG BUT (because you like big “buts” and you cannot lie – I’m sorry, apparently I cannot help myself today) who are we supposed to love? It can’t be EVERYONE, can it?
Well…I may or may not have bad news for you. We are supposed to love everyone.
So now you’re probably like, well, what in the $^%& does love really mean then? Cause I fo sho cannot be expected to love everyone if love means what I think i means.
Couple thoughts on that one….
- Love bears all things: It’s patient, kind, it isn’t rude.
- Love believes all things: It isn’t envious or arrogant.
- Love hopes all things: It’s honest.
- Love endures all things: It’s forgiving, it isn’t selfish.
- Love never ends.
Do you recognize any of those? They come from one of the most popular portions of Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13.
Could you imagine if everyone in the whole wide world lived this way? We wouldn’t have:
- Addictions (Side note: Most people who are addicted to something are attempting to fill a void that was created due to a lack of love. So there’s that.)
- Corrupt governments.
- Unsafe schools.
- Broken families.
- Homeless people.
And on and on the list goes.
But we don’t live in this kind of world. We get hurt. We hurt others. We live wounded. So we wound. We know we probably should love others but we also know if we don’t protect ourselves, who will?
So, I’ll leave you with this passage of Scripture:
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Give careful thought to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, “Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay,” says the Lord. But “If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.” Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.
That last line really speaks to me. I guess what we are left to decide is this: If someone hurts us, are we going to allow their evil to dominate us and keep us from living fulfilled lives that we agreed only come from loving and being loved?
And here’s one more word nugget for you to proverbially chew on: You will NEVER experience true love and lasting peace and stable relationships apart from a relationship with Jesus. Why, you ask? Because you will always be looking from people what only Jesus can provide.
Your loved ones will become a source of:
And people were never meant to fill those roles and will be scared and feel manipulated and be drained to fill those roles for you. Someone used you to do just that and that’s why you have trust and love issues to this day. So just consider the Jesus thing again. It may prove worthwhile for you and those closest to you.