What does it actually mean to love someone as God intends for us to love?
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
Should we just act lovingly to everyone we meet in our daily lives?
Well no, it can’t be just that since we, of course, can’t just act like we love God yet not actually feel that way.
Should we just make countless sacrifices to people in the same way that we would to God?
Again no, love has a lot more to do with just acting a certain or doing certain things, there’s more to just deeds or services.
Ok, so what does it mean to love someone as God loves us?
It’s simple, to love someone as God loves us is to make an effort to understand someone as God understands us.
This may not seem like the answer most would have been searching for but let’s think about this for a second, could you actually love someone without knowing anything about them?
No, you couldn’t do that because it’s impossible.
To love someone without knowing anything about them is simply to love a piece or a portion of someone but refusing not who they actually are.
Being loved just for a fraction of your real self, man that’s a really painful thing to experience and that’s coming from someone with experience.
You what you might call that kind of love, conditional love.
Not unconditional love, conditional love.
That’s the kind of love where I might love you now but the moment you do something or say something that I don’t want you to say or do, I stop loving you entirely, right then and there.
God doesn’t love that way and I’m thankful that he never will.
God loves me unconditionally and that means that his love goes beyond my weaknesses and shortcomings.
That’s how we are to love each other as God commands us, unconditionally rather than conditionally.
What that looks like in practical terms is to not attach rules and stipulations to our decision of whether to love people or not.
It means to love everyone generously and to set no “deal-breakers” or “requirements” to how that should be done.
Yet perhaps most importantly, it means to listen and attempt to understand the people we don’t like just as much as we would do so for the people we do like.
You can’t really love anyone without truly knowing who they are first, so make an effort to not only learn about the people in your life but to put yourself in their shoes from time to time especially when they upset you because just as God persists in loving us in our darkest moments, so to should we do so for others.
To love people unconditionally to love people through understanding is to love people not for how they might appear to be but for who God created them to be, and as children of God that should matter to us a lot.
Listen, learn, and forgive and in doing those things you can be certain that you are loving the right way.
Thanks for Reading!
This is 30 Days of Growth: Day 7