What kind of love do I give? Do I love with Christ's love? Jesus said to love my enemies; do good to those who hate me; bless those who curse me; pray for those that hurt me. And then Jesus gives specific examples that put His kind of love in perspective. If someone slaps me, I offer him the other cheek. When someone demands something from me, I give it to him. If someone asks for help, I give it. If someone takes something from me, I don't try to get it back. Do to others as I would like them to do to me. (Luke 6:27-30, NLT).
The kind of love Jesus speaks of in these verses knows no bounds. It is His love that gives unconditionally. It is selfless and flows from the life of one who knows and lives who they are in Christ. The “me” mentality of “what about my need” pushes people away. Jesus humbled himself to die for me. Can't I humble myself and lay down my needs for someone else?
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NLT).
His love is kind. It is not boastful or jealous or proud or rude. The love of Jesus never demands its own way. It doesn't keep a record of those who have caused pain or been unfair. Jesus never demanded anything for himself but, instead, gave His life.
Do I keep an account of those who have said things that have hurt or slighted me? Christ’s love never rejoices about injustice but always rejoices when truth wins. The justice Jesus offers is full of forgiveness and Grace. Do I extend the gift of His mercy? The love of Jesus never gives up. It always has faith to believe in what is not seen or heard. Looking beyond the selfishness of the human heart, His kind of love is hopeful and perseveres through any circumstance.
“Difficult situations have a way of revealing what is truly in your heart,” Andrew Wommack writes in his book, Self-Centeredness: The Source of All Grief. “It doesn’t matter if your problem is financial pressure, a relational breakdown, or the death of a loved one; you choose whether it turns into a crisis or not. God’s already given you everything you need to overcome in life, but it’s up to you to use it.”
I have His Grace within me to overcome any problem that comes up in life. If I don’t choose to love with His love, I have nothing to offer but my own selfishness. But when I let go of the “me mentality” or “what I want and what I think is right,” I can love with the love of Jesus that keeps no accounts. His redeeming love flowing through my life is the power that changes hearts—not my love—not my power. His love never gives up and never loses faith in me. And I want His love in me to never give up and lose faith in others.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, NKJV).
Jesus or self? The choice is mine.
© 2021 Lynn Lacher