My lungs burned from the inside restricting my breathing considerably. The air around me was suddenly thick and uncomfortable, welcoming a dizzy feeling that threatened to knock me out.
My sobs come out in choked sounds, almost as if the air itself was strangling me. Rapidly blinking, I fought the unshed tears quickly brimming my eyes that threatened to spill over. My surroundings were nothing but a blur.
“What do I do?” I thought to myself, as fear crept into my heart before spreading down my spine. Almost as if by cue, I watched the bus I intended to use drive off without me. Stranded without any money or a phone, this wasn’t the way I imagined ending my day.
I clenched my hands into fists, as a mixture of anger and fear boiled within me. My mind raced, jumbling my thoughts into something indecipherable and incoherent. I was a victim of two con artists that took advantage of my naivety.
Looking back on what had happened to me then, I can’t help but ask, “Does God expect me to love those people too? Does God expect me to love people that take advantage of people, lie and steal from them?”
With a resigned sigh, I am afraid so. God does expect us to love both the lovable and the unlovable. At the beginning of the series, we talked about the fact that we are called to love as Christians.
Luke 6: 27-28: “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (NASB)
The above verse continues to state that if someone slaps us on one cheek, we should offer them the other. Admittedly, this is a stretch even for me. The last thing I want to do after a person slaps me is to mention their inefficiency of not slapping both my cheeks. Like, “Hey, you forgot my other cheek.”
What this verse is asking us to do is to not seek revenge. It’s asking us to seek patience above all else, even in extreme situations.
Yes, what God is asking of us is hard, but not impossible. By abiding in Him, God gives us the ability to love others the way we should. By remaining in Him, God gives us the ability to experience peace beyond any human comprehension. But first, we are to love others, the way God loves us.
1 Corinthians 13:2-3: If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. (NASB)
Needless to say, love is pretty important; otherwise, Paul wouldn’t have written the above verses. Again, God commands us to love others.
1 Corinthians 13: 13: But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. (NASB)
Credit: Yvonne Patock
Below, we take a look at some of the reasons as to why loving others is so important.
It Distinguishes us
John 13:35: By this, all men will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another. (NASB)
How will the world know that we are Christians? They will know that we are Christians when we demonstrate a love that can only be given to us by God. This type of love cannot be found from any other source, but from the one who created us.
To read more on this, please click:(https://elegantlytrendy.wordpress.com/series-part-1-we-are-called-to-love/)
For Effective Ministry
I know a few pastors and pastors’ wives in my life, which has allowed me to get a glimpse into what ministry is really like. My conclusion; ministry is not easy. It demands fervent dedication and often tends to be very draining, which is why we ought to pray for our church leaders.
They not only have to deal with us as a congregation but also have to battle against spiritual powers. Yet, what drives people that are in ministry to do what they do? What gives them the motivation to keep at it even when all else fails? It is because of the love of God in them.
Covers a Multitude of Sins
1 Peter 4:8: Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. (NASB)
When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He did it out of love. His act of love through death, not only covered our sins but took them away.
The keyword, “cover” evidently alludes to forgiveness. Please note that love helps bring forth forgiveness. In other words, when people wrong us, we are willing to overlook their actions and forgive them instead.
C. S Lewis said it better in his book, The Weight of Glory, when he wrote, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
The more we forgive, the less likely we are to seek out vengeance, which would be a sin.
In conclusion, it is important that we remember that love; unconditional love can only be obtained through God. The only way we can truly and unconditionally love others is if we love God first. There’s no way around this fact. Therefore, friends, let us first abide in God, before we can attend to anything else.
John 15:7: If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (NASB)