How to Actually Love Well

Originally published Friday, 02 March 2018.

Love. It is our highest and hardest calling.

Usually, as I lay my head down at night, it is love that I regret not having been full of. It is love that I desire more of. It is love that I desire to learn from God.

Jesus laid down His life.

Jesus gave up His life.

Jesus offered His life as a ransom for millions.

Love gives up what it has. Love counts no cost to putting others first. Love sees not its own way, but God's.

So often, I lack it. I see my goals. I see my plans. I see prayer for myself, but not others. I see my dreams that I want accomplished. I see impatience bust out when the seams of my life are pulled. I see my world and my problems. Sometimes, it is hard to see love.

So where do I start? To be like Jesus, where do I start?

I used to think it started with me trying, working and striving harder.

"I really need to…"

"I've got to...”

“I have to...,” I'd say.

I still say those things sometimes. But, when I do, I forget it is God who works in me to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Phil. 2:13)

In the presence of my working harder, it is far harder to remember who I am in Christ.

"Yet now he has reconciled (me) to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought (me) into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault." 1 Col. 1:22

When we remove shame, regret and self-hatred we can love far more easily. Without these self-focused love killers we find life as we realize Christ sees us not as we were, but as He is, with his image reflecting from us.  This is the power of love.

Christ's death and sacrifice, when we accept it, actively works through me so I can actively love others.


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