Loving God and loving others can some days feel impossible to do.
Am I the only one??
I think I do pretty well at loving God. That is until I compare my “well” with Matthew 22:37…
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” NIV
My “well” doesn’t quite cut it. I mean, I love God. I really do. So very much. And I try to live my life for Him, and do the things He’s nudging me to do.
Do I really love Him with all of me, all of the time??
I desire to say yes, but do I??
What about the times when selfishness and stubbornness get the best of me?
What about when I doubt His promises for my life?
What about the moments I waffle in my faith?
Or when I get impatient waiting on God’s timing?
Or when My problem just seems too big for God to handle, and I try to tackle it myself?
Yeah, I don’t do so “well” in my attempts at loving God then.
What if God’s love was based on me? What if He only loved me when I did the things He wanted me to do? Or only when I was patient, loving, kind, forgiving and gracious? Or only when I deserved to be loved?
If His love was contingent on me and my actions, it’s likely I wouldn’t receive any from Him at all. Oh, I fall so short.
This leads me to ask myself the question, “Why, then, is my loving others oftentimes determined by how they treat me?”
Wouldn’t you agree it’s much easier loving someone who loves us back? But what about someone who is mean and unkind? Who doesn’t treat me nicely. Who ignores me or makes me feel unwanted? What about the person who has different beliefs, opinions and values than I?
And this one hits home as someone recently “spoke” unkind words that hurt my heart: How about the one who talks about me behind my back? Who speaks untruths and false accusations about me?
How well do I love these? (Gulp.) Not so well.
Loving others isn’t to be based on how they love me.
Matthew 22:39 continues,
The second most important [commandment] is similar: “Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.” TLB
It doesn’t read, “Love your neighbor only if they love you.” No. I am to love others as much as I love myself. I am to love. Period.
Including the person whose words recently hurt my heart.
Oh, friend. This is a tall order. No wonder Jesus said these two are the greatest commandments.
Only by the grace of God can we even begin to love how Jesus encourages us to. May you and I this very moment ask for His help in loving both Him and others. And, let’s continue to encourage one another, especially when loving isn’t easy.
What’s one way you can love God today? To whom can you show the love of Jesus?
Bless you, friend!