Choosing To Love

People talk about love a lot. They say they love food, sports, family, friends, God, and activities. God also mentions love a lot in scripture. In the NIV, the word love is used 810 times. One of the more well known verses dealing with love is Matthew 22: 37-39. “And He said to him, “'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” (NASB.)

But loving other people is hard, especially when we find out what love looks like. Paul spells it out in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7. “Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant. It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (NASB.) When God says love someone, He's talking about a love that's selfless, sacrificing, and tireless. That's tough, because people aren't always very lovable. They can also irritate or hurt us. After reaching out yet again and getting hurt, it's tempting to throw in the towel and say, “Forget it. I'm done.”

But the reality is we can't live our lives like that. Without people and love, our lives are empty. People need people. We must make a choice to love others. That doesn't mean we don't acknowledge when someone messes up or does something wrong. What it does mean is we don't turn our back on them because of what they've done. Instead we try to help them back on the right path.

That's easier said than done, but it's also unavoidable. So how do we show our love for other people? There are several ways, among which are:

~ Being patient when trying to teach someone a new thing and they're not getting the hang of it

~ Going out of our way to send an encouraging note or text to a friend or family member

~ Helping someone for the sake of helping them, not because of what they can do for you

~ Taking the time to listen to someone when they need to pour out their heart

This isn't an exhaustive list; it's just supposed to get you started. Begin with your family, then branch out to others in your life. Choosing to love someone every day can be exhausting, but it's also one of the most rewarding things you can do in your life.

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