God's Calling to Love
Love is such a huge part of our lives and affects everything we do. But it can be complex at times. It fills our hearts with joy, kindness, compassion, and hope but can also make our hearts feel broken, heavy and sorrowful.
Proverbs 4:23 states, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Let’s start with the basics. What is love? Dictionary.com defines loves as “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.”
It’s easy to feel love like that when life is going well and people are kind, caring and compassionate. Our hearts experience an unexplained joy and lightness to the world. Everything seems hopeful and bright.
But isn’t there more to love than that?
What happens when our life circumstances take a turn for the worse? Someone is disagreeable, mean, or does something that hurts us? How do we love the “unlovable”? How do we persevere when our hearts have been broken by someone we care about or when we lose a loved one? Why is it important to move forward and love?
Love is complex! How do we answer God’s call to love?
First, love is an act of obedience. God calls us to love others no matter the condition of their hearts or ours: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. '...' Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
The fact of the matter is, all people are created in God’s own image. God loves each one of us as his own valuable creation (including those of us who seem particularly unlovable!). Even though we harm God, others, and ourselves in our sin, God still loves us and desires to bring restoration to all our lives and relationships. When we remember this, we can begin to see people how God sees them, and we can begin to mirror God’s heart for love and restoration.
Loving others is hard, but it is possible for us as we look to God in faith, because God is love (1 John 4:8). Our love for others develops as we learn to understand and appreciate them and consider why they are acting the way they are. We all struggle and face challenges differently. We can all show compassion and empathize with others during hard times because we all go through hard times ourselves. A broken heart whether caused by someone, a situation, or from the loss of a loved one, can leave an emptiness inside a person’s heart. That may create a hole, but those holes can be filled again by new love, happy memories, and positive new experiences that will help us heal and bring forth a new way of living, making one capable to love again and move forward.
Ultimately, the greatest love is a gift that we are all able to receive because of God’s grace in Jesus. God sacrificed His only son so we would know what love is (1 John 4:10). Love is sacrificial and selfless. We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). Real love looks like putting others before ourselves and not expecting anything in return, in response to the way Christ has served us.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…”
This is God’s purpose for us as Christians. We were made in His image and created to love. Because of Jesus, God’s love fills our hearts and make us complete. The love of God gives us hope. God never gives up on us. Let’s never give up on loving one another.
Suzanne joined the staff part-time in 2013 as an Administrative Assistant supporting Communications.
She graduated with a B.S. degree in Psychology and Social Sciences from the University of Maryland.
Suzanne currently resides in Harmony with her husband and daughter.