So my last post was about answering the question, “What is love?” After talking about it a lot, I finally brought you to a list of what love is, along with one of what love is not. This list came from breaking down the Apostle Paul’s description of love in 1 Corinthians 13. If you haven’t read that post I suggest checking it out here.
Today we’ll continue that subject and look at how a person can love. Looking at all of those traits it seems like an extremely daunting task to obtain all of them. In actuality, when I first made the list I didn’t think that I possessed any of those traits. I fit in better with the Hate side than the Love side. So how did I change myself? Well, honestly I didn’t, God did. I know cheesy answer but I’m going to take you through the practical things I found.
First thing to do is to make sure that you know God. Here’s what I mean. To love like God loves, which is described in part in 1 Corinthians 13, we must know God because God is love. I’m getting this from a letter the Apostle John wrote to several churches in the late 1st century. It states;
“7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8
What this says is that love comes from God. If we have been born of God, meaning we have a relationship with Him through the salvation of his son Jesus Christ, then we can love fully like God because God is in us. Well, that was a mouthful. Maybe it’s better said like this – Because God is love, and we are in him through his Son Jesus, you/I can learn to love like God.
This is really the only way to love fully, is to be in him. Yes, we can argue that those of you who don’t believe in God can love as well and a semblance of that might be true, however, I’m under the firm belief that it is through God that we can obtain a love that is immensely greater than our own.
The second thing I had to do was transform my mind. Paul writes in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” What this means is that for anything to change in my life, I must first change the way I think about it. For me to view myself as a loving person, I had to change my mindset and in doing so, God transformed my heart.
Now don’t get me wrong here, this is not easy and it is a process. It took us nearly a year of me working at Starbucks dealing with all kinds of difficult, demanding people to come to the realization that the entire purpose of me being there had been fulfilled. I’m not done either. The process is continuing to this day and will continue on, but the transformation is one of the essential steps in learning to love.
So, time for a self-assessment. Are you loving like God is calling you to love? Are you being honest with yourself?