LOVING SELF IS NOT HARD, LOVING OTHERS IS A WHOLE NEW WORLD
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Romans 12:9—20)
Christian’s love in action is an active lifestyle. It’s what should be making the difference while living in Jesus community and the world. Jesus said to his disciples while with them, The world will know that you are my disciples if you love one another. There is no other way the world will know the difference between them and the community of Jesus.
The Apostle Paul picks up and write this as a reminder to believers in the church in Rome. A this is the behavior and the attitude I need to have for my fellow believers. Reading through it it sounds simple and doable, however it is one of the most difficult attitude and behavior to achieve. Sometimes the simplest of things are the most profound and challenging to achieved.
Love must be sincere is explained by a practical application. For love to be sincere, one has to hate what is evil; and cling to what is good. Love in a community must be devoted to one another, by honoring one another above self. Now that is a challenging proposition. Love works by honoring others above self.
Love must never lack in zeal, but keeps a spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. A spiritual fervor is to have an intense and passionate feeling, serving the Lord despite how things are. It is a believer’s responsibility to keeps one’s spiritual fervor. Not a responsibility of others but theirs only. To keep my zeal and spiritual fervor strong, I must be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayers.
Love in action affects every aspect of the believer’s life. Love is not only in words but in deeds and application. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Christian love bless enemies and not cursing them. We all have enemies that we wish we can curse and mistreat. Love as a believer is not to curse enemies but to bless them.
Rejoice and mourn with those who rejoicing and mourning. I am reminded to feel empathetic towards others. I am not to be proud not to be seen or hangout with those of low position. Do not be conceited or repay evil for evil. I must be committed to do what is right. Not revenge, but I must try my very best to be at peace with others.
Love is tough and real. It is not just an emotion. It includes emotions, but more than that it is a character development with the aim as a practical lifestyle for the believer. It is not difficult to love myself but it is extremely love people who are indifferent and mean to me. My natural response will be retaliation and get even. But Love does stop me from getting even with others.
I know I have a long way to go on living out love as a practical daily living. But it is my responsibility as a child of God to live out love not just in my words but also in my action daily. My flesh wants to retaliate and response with the opposite of what love demands of me. Today, I will continue to love as it requires and demands of me to be someone who doesn’t just talk about love but live it daily. I need Jesus to teach me daily how to respond and be responsible for the way I conduct my life especially toward those whom I have difficulties to love.
Jesus, you love not with words but with your life. I thank you for reminding me that love without action is not love. Thank you for teaching me and reminding me to be responsible for my zeal and my spiritual fervor. Help me never to give in to my unhealthy emotions that destroys my zeal and spiritual fervor, but to choose to live out your truth daily. I love and appreciate you for your love and grace toward my shortcomings. I need you daily, Amen!