Each day we are presented with options. We are faced with choices – from choices over the most minute details to choices having a major impact on our lives. Despite the importance of the choices we make on our lives, many of our decisions affect those around us. Choices such as how we respond to the person who makes rude remark, the friend who hurts our feelings, the stranger trying to merge into our lane, etc. will affect us, the person our actions are directed toward AND the people who see what we do. When faced with decisions, particularly those having the ability to affect other people, we need to stop and ask ourselves “What does love require of me?” Once you ask yourself, and I mean really ask yourself, that question, the realization you come to will be life altering and ground shaking.
This was the ultimate question at the end of our bible study lesson two Wednesdays ago (yeah, I know, I am behind :-)) We were nearing the end of “Christian: It’s Not What You Think” by Andy Stanley when he posed the question – What does love require? It was such a simple question, yet the answer can have such a profound impact on you.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
Since I am not always able to remember to ask myself that question in the heat of the moment, I have begun to ask myself that question each morning when I wake up. It helps frame my day and start me off on the right track. That way, when there are times that I could be rude, act in an unforgiving manner or complain about someone’s behavior, I hold my tongue.
Making love our guide does not mean allowing others to walk all over us. Meekness does not equal weakness. What it means is responding to people and reacting to situations with loving kindness and gracefulness. It also means offering a word of encouragement or being a shoulder to cry on or a sounding board (even when you don’t really have the time, patience or initial desire to do so.) I am not perfect, so of course I don’t always act in love and with grace. But, I am trying to be and do better. I also want my family and friends to be better, so I have shared this tidbit with them, and now I am sharing with you – my extended family.
Loving God with everything we have (Matthew 22:37-38) is the first and most important commandment. The command to love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39) is the second greatest commandment. All the other verses of the bible rely and depend upon our adherence to these commands (Matthew 22:40). So, you see, it all boils down to love.
When we ask ourselves what does love require, we know it requires us to love God first and foremost AND our neighbors the same way we love ourselves. The way we love serves as an example for others. Often, the only time people see Jesus is in and through us. Love can change people’s hearts. Grace can change people’s lives.
Today, remind yourself that love has EVERYTHING to do it. Today, ask yourself, “What does love require of me?” But, don’t only ask yourself, be willing to do what love requires you to do.
Peace, love and blessings,
– To view pictures of the “Once Upon a Baby Girl” Shower I co-hosted, click here.
– I made Cheesy Corn, Potato and Broccoli Chowder Tuesday. The recipe is available here.