“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. There is no commandment greater than these.”-Mark 12;31
I was recently given an awesome challenge: define love. I approached the challenge by going to 1 Corinthians 13 so as to define it in light of scripture. I then went to the interlinear bible to look up the original translation to get as pure a sense of what love is, and is not, as possible. (It’s important to note that in this chapter, all references to “love” are translated from the original word, agape. This word means a love that is unconditional and goes beyond family to our fellow man as well.) Here’s what love is: far feeling, being kind, together joying all to the truth, believing all, expecting all and is under remaining. Here’s what love is not: bragging, boiling, being inflated, being indecent, seeking of herself, being sharpened, account the evil and joying on the unjustness.
I believe that when Jesus calls us to love our neighbors, He is calling us to do something that we can only do with His help because I don’t believe this type of love is even possible without Him. I believe He is calling us to be willing to journey with everyone He brings into our path in a way that is willing to reach deeply into their lives and go through the mess all the while seeking to shine His light into the situation and show them who Jesus is and how much He loves them. I also believe, however, that just as the disciples shook the dust off their feet and went on their way, we have to be paying attention to someone who is either not interested or abusive and be able, based on guidance from the Holy Spirit, to walk away. I fully realize not everyone wants to be loved because they are too injured and there is nothing I can do for these folks but pray.
I truly can say that I love so many people it is sometimes overwhelming to me. I have people from all walks of life who have nothing to do with God yet when they have a struggle, they call me and ask me to pray for them. That’s awesome!! To me that means that somehow they know I’ve got something they don’t and they want some little piece of it even if it’s just my prayer. This heart of mine is why I write devotionals. I know what it’s like to be so angry at God you can barely breathe and I don’t want anyone to travel through life like that ever. I know that I became a Christian at 14 years old, but I didn’t become a disciple until November of 2011 and I’ll never fully be able to explain to anyone how much pain God released me from and healed me from. It was more than just a single experience. It was a lifetime up to that point of disappointments for which I blamed God. All of that causes me to just flat out love people. I desperately want people to understand that God is absolutely for them and that they just need to let go, little by little, and let Him heal and love them. 🙂