Love or Hate
Have you spent your week proving your love to others? It seems if you look at the news lately it isn’t “love” that is being proven but “hate.” Sometimes it seems the actions of others treat hate as if it is an emotion that can’t be helped, a feeling that can’t be overcome. We try to justify it by saying we are just human and can’t help ourselves. All of this is a lie, but this lie becomes the excuse for the hatred. Because if we can’t help but hate, then it isn’t our fault.
Thankfully though we can help it because hate is a choice. We can choose to love, or we can choose to hate. Author, Philip Gulley, says that love is a matter of the will and something we decide to do. All of this is because love is a choice. Proving love to others is more than just a good feeling. And when we choose to love over hate, it is seen through more than just talk.
Actions do speak louder than words and what greater example of love can be seen than the sacrifice of Christ as He laid down His life for us. His love is for all, as God did not limit His boundaries to less than the entire world. Thankfully, no one has a monopoly on the love of God. But too often we often act as if we do, finding ourselves looking down at others thanking God that we are not like them. We cannot restrict the grace of God to ourselves, for when we do, we cut ourselves off from the very grace we are given.
The Proving Love of Christ
The death and resurrection of Christ are for all and it is the ultimate example that God gave, proving His love for all of us. It is only through God that we have love for He doesn’t give us love, He is love. Because of this, we must remember that love is supernatural and comes from a supernatural source, God.
Choosing love over hate comes only when we understand the fullness of God, for loving others is often difficult to do. This is why we need a supernatural resource to empower us proving that we can love because we are followers of Christ. When our outward appearance of love is seen by nonbelievers and believers alike, our actions become our witness. For when others see us make a difficult choice to choose to love over hate, even if the world justifies it, this extraordinary response causes people to sit up and notice.
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”John 13:35 (NLT)
It is important that we remember that the way others see us respond, whether in love or hate, is our witness for Christ. Proving love to the world means many different things, but usually begins by helping others when it is inconvenient. It is showing forgiveness when it hurts or tirelessly working for the good of other’s welfare over our own. The real test of proving our love comes from how we treat those around us. For we cannot claim to love God and neglect to love those who are created in His image.
Proving Real Love
The proving of real love is a very real action and not just an emotional feeling. It is a selfless sacrificial giving of one’s self. Proving love is serving others with no thought of receiving anything in return. It is easier to say than to do and means putting other’s desires ahead of our own, which is the lesson that Christ taught. But in addition, to His teaching proving our love and letting our actions speak louder than our words requires the supernatural help of the Holy Spirit. It requires us to never forget the image of the extraordinary love of God.
God provides individualized affection to all of us and this can be reminded by the story of the little boy, who’s trying to learn the Lord’s Prayer. One night, as he knelt by his bed, the words he said were, “Our Father, who are in heaven. How do you know my name? Indeed, how God proves His love individually for all of us is a mystery, but one that we should never forget in this image.
Striving for the Ideal
It is this individualized ideal that we, too, should strive for, by proving our love for others through following in the examples of Christ. We will not reach His extraordinary level, but we can continue to strive to grasp it, letting our actions and thus our witness, speak louder than any words ever can.
Won’t you accept the challenge to love others with actions, not words? Find your conviction in following the examples and teachings of Christ, knowing that you can do so only through His help. Be motivated in doing for others as it is your witness to the world. Surround yourself in the comfort of God knowing that He doesn’t just command us to choose to love others, but His actions prove His love in the ultimate example.
Love in Christ,
Love is not a noun to be defined, but a verb to be acted upon.Unknown
What Are Your Thoughts?
Have you considered how the proving of love is seen through the actions of Christ? Do you sacrifice yourself to the others created in His image? Share your thoughts on choosing to love over hate and how your actions can prove love showing your witness to the world.
Credits Gulley, P. (2007). For Everything a Season: Simple Musing on Living Well. San Francisco: HarperOne.