maybe your mind jumped to 1 corinthians 13 and the verses that talk about love. maybe you immediately thought love is wonderful or love makes me happy. while they are true i think we forget the hard side of love.
the other day i had a brief conversation via text about love. literally i think two sentences were exchanged but it got me thinking. whether it is between friends or lovers or even strangers there is still one element that is the same. sacrificial.
when you love someone you do things for them even when you don’t want to. when you love your child, sometimes the loving thing is to draw a line in the sand and no longer enable them. when you love your friends, sometimes the loving thing is to lay aside what you would rather be doing to help them move for the 80th time or even scrub their dirty bathroom when they are sick in bed. when you love a stranger, sometimes the loving thing to do is laying aside your pride and being obedient to pray for what God has shown you.
maybe i am not as spiritual as you are but most of the time when i agree to help someone, i would rather be doing about a million other things. but i love them and so i help.
the ultimate example is Christ… for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son… john 3:16. while it says He considered it joy, it also asked if there was any other way, let it be. He knew it would be hard. He knew it was going to be painful. He knew that separation from God on our behalf would be the worst thing He would ever experience but the joy of loving and end result led Him to sacrifice himself.
i fear we have lost this in our society. we have become a people that think when we don’t love someone anymore we can just divorce them or stop being their friend or be rude. i can only imagine the grief it causes God to look on His Beloved and see we have so maligned the word love, turning it into something flippant, with no real meaning.
but what if that changed? what if His people started to actually love each other again? what if we stopped putting up walls and being so prideful as to neglect the very people He came to save? what if we started sacrificing what we wanted to do for what our brothers and sisters needed us to do? what if we stopped wondering if so and so would be there or if this would look good to others? what if we stopped thinking so much of ourselves that we had a list of excuses in our back pockets and just started genuinely loving each other?
i’m pretty sure the ridiculous things would happen. the first is that we are told the world will know we are His by the way we love each other. i think there would be so many more salvations. i think people would want what we have instead of the “oh no i know all about you christians” response.
but maybe it is just me. just a thought.