The other day I wrote a letter to a sister of mine to encourage her to have an endless love that so many seek for. I may sound like a broken record by saying this: real love is not easy, it is a constant decision to die-to-yourself in order to lift up those around you. This selfless lifestyle is something I struggle with daily. I am still trying to overcome my belief that everyone should take care of themselves. Thankfully I was wrong! Hallelujah, there is a greater love which was displayed on the cross and is worthy of living out. Here is a little excerpt from my letter:
May you have strength and perseverance in all the days that lie ahead of you. You bless so many around you by being the light of God that you are. Be encouraged and fearless as you rest in the peace of God’s unending love for you.
John 15:13-“There is no greater love than this, that a man should lay down his life for a friend.”
I must remind myself often that love is a choice. Choice follows absolute truth only provided from an eternal perspective~ an omniscient, everlasting, and omnipresent perspective. Choices we make are based upon the truth that we believe. I pray this is easy to grasp. You become what you hold to be true. We have a choice in how we see ourselves, see the world, and see God. We have a choice in what we do, what we will do, how we love, and what we hate. All of these must be based on the absolute truth that God gives us. This significantly applies to love. Love is used 348 times in the bible (NASV), and defines both God’s nature and character. God is love. Our Father states that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. The second greatest is to love your neighbor as thyself.
With this being absolute truth, there is never a moment that we can rest from loving. The choice to love must not be based on feelings. The capability of having feelings is a gift from God. However, when one relies on feelings, these emotions can often be swayed from God’s will, as they typically arise from a human perspective. The following consequences can be painful. Instead, when emotions follow choices based on truth, feelings add life and meaning. So as we love, selflessly and wholeheartedly, we must realize that we love because God first loved us~ we love because we have been shown grace and forgiveness through the ultimate act of love.
I believe unconditional love takes more than a life time of practice. We are called forth to love and be loved. So, brothers and sisters, lets choose to surprise God with the love we have for him and others!
Amy Hale – DTS Student, October, 2015