Love, It’s What We Need

On our last visit to New York, I saw something I’ve never seen before:

20160703_172302

Now, please note, yes, I’ve seen the LOVE sign before.

Goodness, yes.

Yet, never before have I seen a line of people waiting to have their picture taken in that spot. It’s a well known background of many, many people’s pictures. Sometimes solo, sometimes with their better half, but always the faces of those who stand before that sign show one thing: Joy.

Love brings joy. Love makes things better.

As I thought last week about how I could possibly attempt to acknowledge the recent events of our country, the only thought that continued to come to mind was this: Love.

Even so, I didn’t want to actually go forward and post anything because I thought, People are hurting. People are confused. People are fighting. And I’m going to say the answer is love? It seems too simple. 

I don’t think it was any coincidence that this Sunday my pastor managed to turn a message on stealing into a message on love…a message on love directly in tune to the message my heart had been telling me to write on.

The greatest commandment Jesus ever gave was built around the message of love. It boiled down to this: Love God. Love your neighbor.

I think often we skip over that first part and just want to know this: Who is my neighbor?

Everybody. Every single person you come into contact with. We are meant to love them. We are meant to treat them as we want to be treated.

But we can’t ever begin to love our neighbors fully if we have not determined in our minds to love God with every essence of our being. This is a point that cannot be ignored.

While I understand the confusion and the loss our nation is feeling right now, I can’t understand those who love God allowing themselves to be part of the problem, not the answer. If you love God, be the answer our world seeks, not part of the confusion that continually surrounds. Lift up those who are hurting. Be a listening ear, not a criticizing mouth.

I’ve brought up this scripture before, and as you can read from my past post, it is one that I myself need to focus on continually. We can’t race past the descriptions of love. We must embrace them, because in them, we realize that we can love anyone and everyone because Christ loves us in this way, too.

What is love?
-Patient
-Kind
-Rejoices in truth
-Protects
-Trusts
-Hopes
-Perserveres
-Never fails

What isn’t love?
-Envious
-Boastful
-Proud
-Does not dishonor
-Self-seeking
-Easily angered
-A record keeper
-Delights in evil

I wish I could say I have this figured out, that I have love under control in my own life, but I don’t. I make mistakes constantly in loving those it should be easy for me to love.

But I do know, without a shred of doubt, that this is the basis for how we are meant to live our lives.

Measure your choices, what you do and what you say, up against love. Imagine if we all did this. Imagine if love became infectious, if it passed from person to person like the shared gift it is meant to be.

It would change the world.

“A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so must you love one another.”
John 13:34

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