"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." (John 13:34)
"Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:39)
"Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:31)
Last night I was laying in bed considering today's blog. I was thinking about how I would start discussing the topic God has recently laid on my heart to share with DW. I was wondering how I should expand upon the concept of considering others in love... of treating others with biblical respect? It seems so basic. So elementary to our Christian beliefs. But unfortunately, it is not practiced as regularly as you'd think.
For how many Christian mothers have thoughtlessly reacted to their children in frustration, desperation, and anger rather than with loving discipline? How many Christian wives have harvested bitterness and resentment against their husband's God-given position of leadership rather than lift Him up in loving submission and support? How many Christian friendships have maintained an ongoing undertone of contempt and competitiveness rather than encourage a mutual regard for one another and a loving appreciation of the gifts shared. Mind you, I have not even skimmed the surface of the unsaved community. Nor have I discussed the people in our lives that we don't like... those who we are inclined to merely tolerate because our experiences coincide in some way. How do we love them?
Furthermore, how do we "do unto others" and "love" who we meet online... or over the telephone... or who we must engage with through business dealings or forms of service... or who we simply pass by as we walk down the street? Really, how do we love these "others"? Is it in the same way we love ourselves? Do we truly think to extend the same courtesy, respect, regard, honor, or care that we would in turn wish to receive? Or do we hold favoritism to those we only expect to get something from? Do we reserve our "do unto others" for those with promise to fulfill something we want... or agree with something we feel? In short, do we maintain such relationships as a means to feed our many forms of selfishness rather than extend God's many examples of servanthood?
Ladies, I am concerned that many Christian women have forgotton to consider God's primary command to love other people... ALL people. In fact, I am certain that in this matter, some of us look no different than the unethical and ungodly of this world. Some of us cannot rebuke without condemning. Some of us cannot manage without belittling. Some of us cannot share without gossiping. Some of us cannot give without selfishly gaining. Some of us are so wrapped up in ourselves that we can't hear the Spirit's call to pray for a complete stranger who passes by. Some of us are so absorbed in our own ways that we can't focus on what is righteous in the eyes of God over what is rightful in our own opinion. We crave for our identity to be benefited first. We insist that our treatment is reciprocated justly. But is this love? Look at Christ's words again:
"As I have loved you, so you must love one another." (John 13:34b)
Jesus tells us to love others as He has loved us. When we look at the example of our Savior, we not only see a life of sacrifice (which is a BIG component to love), but we also see His emphasis to love in positive agreement with the will of His Father. This means, that even in the harshest examples of Christ's love being demonstrated, He still chose to love us in a way that was positive in execution, rather than negative and corrupt. Jesus always maintained a genuine concern, consideration and respect for others that righteously reflected His Father's love and encouraged others to be built up in such love. This is the way of our Master. This is the example of how He loved us... positively and with great care to restore ourselves to healthy, uplifted individuals secure in His presence.
Is this how you love?
Is His the example you consider when you "do unto others"?
For if you are not mirroring His image, whose image are you reflecting?
Ladies, I challenge you to honestly and prayerfully consider your words and intentions when it comes to your daily practice of "the golden rule." I encourage you to pause and reflect upon the example of our perfect Savior while extending love to another.
Does your heart showcase His heart?
No matter how close a relationship you may have with someone... no matter how fond you may like or dislike an individual... no matter how society may deem a person respectable or unworthy... rise above it all and love your neighbor like Jesus! LOVE them as God has loved you. Love with positive execution. Love with righteousness. Love in agreement with the will of your Almighty Father. Love because He first loved you.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
I am certain that if every Christian woman asked God to remove the selfish scales from her eyes and actually stopped to think about how profound her glorifying His way of loving others would effect the hearts, attitudes and interactions of people (including herself)... well, I think it would greatly change our world if executed and carried out!
So why aren't we?
Why are we still stuck in our own selfish problems rather than moving forward with His holy objective?
Are not the lives of others most important to share what Jesus shared with us?... To give what Jesus gave us?...
To do as Jesus did for us?...
To bring up our children, love our husbands, respect our employers, honor our parents, pray for our leaders, and care about strangers as Jesus sacrificially proved for us?
Isn't God's love what we should be completely focused on?
He answered: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind"; and, "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Luke 10:27)
Our wise Redeemer summed up how we are to live in two simple phrases: Love God with everything you are, and love others as you would love yourself. Simply put: Love God and love people. Both put the needs of others before our own. Both positively promote the execution and agreement of His righteousness. Both give every devoted woman the opportunity to do something great with the life God has blessed her.
So, will you use your life for His purpose?
Will you love others as Christ loves you?
I hope so.
For we are each sinning in this area if we do not do as He says.
We are each disregarding His will and going our own way if we do not take this matter very, very seriously.
Ladies, I encourage you to embrace this important message today.
Pray for the Spirit to guide your steps as you implement and demonstrate the Savior's sacrificial, unfathomable love in your own life.
Remember, we are living testimonies for the sake of the cross.
I encourage you to live like it and make everything you say and do about God's wonderful, marvelous, sacrificial love.
Love... just LOVE!
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