"I can't help the way I feel. I just don't love him anymore.” “Things aren’t going to change.” “I can’t do this anymore.”
On more than a few occasions, I’ve heard dramatic words like these slip off people’s tongues. Sadly, once someone has this mindset, it’s hard to turn them around. Much of the pop culture entertainment we consume portrays love as a heart-throbbing, wild, thrilling, and even sadistic roller coaster type of experience. This is in stark contrast to the 1st Corinthians 13 type of love that Christ calls us to.
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (1 Cor 13:4-8a, NASB)
Unfortunately, as much as we want to love well, our sin nature can breed in us a desire to stay emotionally safe and respond sinfully in situations where we could be turning to God for help. “He lied to me. I’ll spend money.” “She won’t give to me sexually. I’ll view pornography,” etc. We can act so quickly in sin that we don’t even stop to process.
But through the power of the Spirit, we can defy the natural inclination to leave, fight, or act harmfully toward someone else made in God’s image. Giving and receiving God’s love allows us to be truly emotionally safe -- free from the agony of hate and a victim mentality. It offers the choice to care, not only for another, but for yourself too. By surrendering our weakness to God and receiving His love, you are empowered to offer 1st Corinthians 13 kind of love to others.
Thank You for showing me how to love and for loving me so much that You sent Your only Son to die for me. Help me to turn from sin and to love others well today, despite the cost and embarrassment of not receiving it back in the same manner. Father, I ask that You would fill me to overflowing so that I have more than enough joy and love and endurance to run the race well for Your glory. Amen
The voice of culture tells us that if we love others they may take advantage of us, so we may think to hold back our loves so we don’t get hurt. But the voice of God is clear and strong, telling you to love others and yourself well, and that He will fill you and meet your needs when others cannot or may disappoint. This week, if you are wounded emotionally, take a deep breath and remember: God’s love is enough.