Loving When It Hurts
Bible Reading: 1 John 2:1-6
Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did. 1 John 2:6
Here’s a quiz to take. How many of these actions sound loving?
(a) If a friend shows up at church with a smudge on his face, I quietly let him know so he can clean it off.
(b) I share my glue with friends who like to color, cut, and glue.
(c) Once in a while when I’m bowling with friends I purposely throw a gutter ball so they won’t feel bad about being such awful bowlers.
While those might not be the most significant examples of love in the world, at least they’re a start. Because love is more than a good feeling. It’s an action.
Be aware of this: All of your right, good, loving actions might not be accompanied by a flood of warm, fuzzy feelings of love or affection.
You don’t always feel like obeying your parents, doing your homework, or brushing your teeth. But most of the time you manage to do those things because you have made a decision to do what’s right.
Love is the same way. It isn’t something you always feel; it’s something you do. You might get good feelings when you do loving deeds, but God wants you to love even if you don’t. Jesus didn’t feel like giving his life to save the human race. He prayed, looking for a way to avoid the cross (see Matthew 26:38-39). But he chose to follow God’s plan and sacrifice himself for our sin.
When we wonder if we really love people the way God intends, here’s our real-life, real-love checklist:
□ I make the health, happiness, and growth of my friends as important to me as my own.
□ I help my friends mature in every possible way-mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially.
□ I protect my friends from anything that threatens their well-being.
□ I help my friends love God more.
If we can say each of those statements with total honesty, we’re truly loving others. And when we put love into action, we’re loving people with the greatest love in the universe. It’s the kind of real-life, action-packed love that God has shown to us.
TALK: Who in your life needs love—even if you don’t feel like loving them? How can you use God’s love to love that person?
PRAY: Jesus, help us to love like you did—not just with big words but with real actions.
ACT: Maybe you’ve intended to do something great for a friend but haven’t gotten around to it. Do it today!