What kind of love do I extend? Do I love with the love of Christ? 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).
The love of which Jesus speaks in these verses is full of grace. It is His love that gives unconditionally. It is selfless and flows through 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 desires 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 never 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 keeps an account of wrong but always rejoices when truth prevails. His love is full of forgiveness, honesty, and grace. Do I extend His love and grace? The love of Christ never gives up. It always has the faith to believe in what is not seen or heard. Looking beyond the selfishness of the human heart, His love is hopeful and perseveres through any circumstance.
I have His grace within me to overcome any problem that comes up in life. But if I don’t choose to love with His grace, I have nothing to offer but my own selfishness. When I let go of what I want and what I think is right, I can love with the grace of Jesus that keeps no accounts. His redeeming love flowing through my life is the power that changes my heart to love as He has loved me. His love never gives up and never loses faith in me. And I want above everything in this life for His love in me to never give up and lose faith.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, KJV).
The life I live in this flesh, I live by the faith of my Savior who loved me enough to give His life for me. And I will love as He has loved me.
© 2021 Lynn Lacher