Love is a Habit/Love is an Action

First – Sunday is November 30th – Barbados’ 42nd anniversary of our independence from Great Britain.  I was going to have a whole post on Independence…. and what it means for a Christian, but …. maybe later on today. I’m on a roll with the Love posts, so….

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Two for the price of one! Realized I missed a day of the Purpose Driven Live devoitional (Love is an Action, two days ago) so I’m going to comment on both of them.  

When I think about love, I think about action.  I can say I have love, but if I don’t do anything, it’s just talk. It’s just like faith – it is exercised in action:

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” 
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. (James 2:18 NIV)

 

Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions. 1 John 3:18 (NLT)

To show love, you have to act!  Acts of selflessness, acts of kindness, acts of mercy, acts of forgiveness – all actions that show love.  Literary types will tell you there is a rule when writing scripts: “Show, don’t tell!”  A good story just doesn’t tell you what happened, it describes the scene – sets the mood.  

Over and over again, in the Bible, God commands us to love each other. And you can’t command an emotion. If I told you “Be sad!” right now, you couldn’t be sad on cue. Just like an actor, you can fake it, but you’re not wired for your emotions to change on command. Have you ever told a little kid, “Be happy!” I’m trying, daddy!

Very true – you can’t command an emotion.  But you can command a choice, an action.  Love the thought: ‘Be sad, right now!’  ….  Why not try that out on someone??? :mrgreen:  (You’d probably get wierd looks.)

We can talk a good act: “I love people.” But do we really love them? Do you really love them? Our love is revealed in how we act toward them.

Yeah that’s what I’m saying… talk is cheap.  Let’s strive to act out our love.  Does anyone have a problem demonstrating that love? Any thoughts?

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I love this: “Love is a Habit” (today’s Purpose Driven Devotion).  

If you only love on and off like a light switch, you do not love others like God wants you to love. Jesus said, “If you only love those who love you what credit is that to you?” (Luke 6:32 NIV).

 

His point is this: anybody can love those who love them. Becoming a master lover means you learn to love the unlovable. It’s when you love people who don’t love you, when you love people who irritate you, when you love people who stab you in the back or gossip about you.

Now I’ll admit: this is difficult.  Very difficult.  Especially for me – because I have a short fuse.  I hate when people upset me.  I blow up very quickly…. but it doesn’t last.  I usu use it like a stop valve.  I will quarrel and fume until it’s out of my system, and then I’m good again.  But I can’t stand stupid people! (oops, did I say that out loud? Ok I got more work to do here….)  I’m working at loving the unloveable.

When you realize how much God loves you – with an extravagant, irresistible, unconditional love – then his love will change your entire focus on life. If we don’t receive God’s love for us, we’ll have a hard time loving other people. I’m talking about loving the unlovely, loving the difficult, loving the irritable, loving people who are different or demanding.

I agree – I needed to receive God’s love before I could even accept myself  or even start work on loving others!   (Thank you, Daddy, for your love for me!)

You can’t do that until you have God’s love coming through you. You need to know God’s love so it can overflow out of your life into others.

Let that be our aim – to receive God’s love and work on loving others.  How difficult is it for you to love people who ‘spitefully use you’, according to Scripture?

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6 Responses

  1. 🙂 Love is a verb! I am sure..starting with the love of GOD, He didn’t just write it out in the Bible for us to read and know, HE acted…HE sent his son to die for us…

    This is love that man would lay down his life for his friends… well enough preaching from me…back to working on acting out my love..ya know words can just be so empty…more dying to self. I am up for it though..

    Happy Independance day to you!

  2. Wow! Great stuff here! I love that: “Be sad!” I need work too – I’m a lot like you (with stupid people :oops:). Thanks!

  3. Darla – True that Darla… greatest act of Divine Love was sending Jesus to pay the price for my sins… MINE!

    Annie – yeah… hard to act on the love… (and I still have to try my ‘Be sad!’ command… oh yeah, it would work on my 4 year old: he cries at EVERYTHING. 😆 (Sorry for having a laugh at your expense, Nikao, my boy… :lol:)

  4. like Annie says – you are by no means alonein your feelings here Bajan 🙂

    To me i believe practicing catching myself when i hate something stupid i see or hear someone do or say and putting it into the right perspective.. which is that any one of us can say or do something stupid at times but that does not make us worthy of being hated – it only means we did something dumb for a little time..

    Love the Giver, not the gift – but hate the sin, not the sinner.

    Nice work here! 🙂

    <B

  5. Yeah, Love… I get what you are saying. Putting stuff in perspective will help…. we do need to remember that we are not infallible and will probably look stupid to someone else within a couple seconds… hey, look at Peter…. seconds after he got the revelation that Jesus was the Christ, Jesus rebuked him as Satan because he was trying to restrict God’s plan for Jesus’ death and resurrection…

    Go figure.

  6. Good Pick-up there 🙂

    How’s this for an idea…?

    Jesus rebuking Satan as He saw him in the thought of Peter at that moment. If Satan can show up in the thoughts of one of the Disicples with the strongest Faith in Jesus Christ (Remember Peter was the only one willing to put his Faith to the test when he stepped out of the boat as Jesus was walking towards them) Then he is also capable of showing up in the minds/hearts/acts of those who we see doing stupid or unloveable things.

    It is this we are to show less than love to (turn from) in others, not the others themselves, knowing that at any given moment the same power may be revealing itself in our heart or mind or action.

    As good as we think we are (usually when we think we are being ‘better/smarter’ than someone else) Satan can still show up in us unannounced – or even unnoticed.

    Peter Proved it (twice! – remember when he drew his sword on the soldiers come to take his Master?)

    We most likely ( if we had sufficient courage) would have done the same.

    So – we can reject the evil we think we see in others as being of Satan’s doing – not their own, and remember that if we hate someone other then he is probably at work in us at that moment also.

    Resist evil.

    love your neighbour as yourself 🙂

    …and with apologies to Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry – be happy!

    <B

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