Live Bravely: A Month of Love
I can't believe I am going to try to tackle this but, I'm going all in. It's love month so, let's do it! Love is complex. It asks of us, it demands from us and it gives to us. If you're not a Jesus follower I pray you have great role models in your life to learn love from. If you are a Jesus follower, well, there is no better role model of love. He is the only human to ever live that exemplified it perfectly.
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?
Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
If these are the most important according to Jesus, we should dig in, so I am dedicating every blog post this month to the study of love. Some of you reading who truly know me just laughed hysterically. "Ami, you haven't been able to succeed in love in 17 years." So true, however, I am not limiting this month long study to those in romantic relationships (I'm not in one, nor have I been in quite some time so who am I to teach that). Love is required in all relationships. So whether I reference a couple or not, you can assume that whether it is a couple, parent/child, friendship, neighbor, co-workers or a complete stranger - love applies.
Love is the highest form of maturity. It often requires a sacrificial gift. If we are not making sacrifices in our relationships, we probably don't really love the other person at all. If there is no sacrifice in our actions, we are most likely reacting to something nice someone did for us, or simply pretending to be kind to gain some control over them.
True love gives of itself. So our decisions should always have our partners interests at heart. When you do, you're giving of yourself.
Most people think happiness in love depends heavily on getting what they need from the other person. God's desire is for us to love each other sacrificially and unconditionally. This means you don't get your way all of the time. But the good news is, when you sacrifice your selfish desires, you will have a triumphant relationships.
The truth is that giving, when done with pure motives, is its own reward. This sense of satisfaction doesn’t depend on how others receive your gift of service. Some people will never be content with what you do for them. Others will never feel worthy; no matter how much you encourage them or attempt to include them in your life. In risking love, you are also risking the possibility of being rejected or turned away. A person may even reject you while saying he or she loves you.
The goal in loving is not to evoke the response you want from another person, but to do what you believe the Lord is pleased for you to do. Your willingness to love must never depend upon another person’s ability to give love back to you. Jesus told us that God is looking for more than our best. He is looking for a lifestyle and attitude that allows God to supersede what we can do or could ever attain through our own effort.
I'll tell you it's a big topic. One I am excited to study and share what I learn. Do you have specific questions or thoughts you want me to cover? Let me know. Pray for me. While it's said all you need is love, I have a feeling, a little prayer along the way wouldn't hurt.