Biblically speaking, it might be easier to accept that God loves us than it is to evaluate how we are to love others. I'm about a week into an agonizing 30 day devotional that forces me to deal with my response to how people have offended me-it's brutal and I have a lot of work to do. Here is some "food for thought" to help you evaluate how you treat people.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these." When we are to love others as we love ourselves, that sets the bar pretty high-and especially if you evaluate how you are doing when it comes to people who have offended you.
This section of scripture is discussing legal disputes among believers and the question posed is "Why not put up with injustice? Why not rather be cheated?" This is a hard teaching. The Bible teaches a lot about loving justice and that God is a just God; however, since we all fall short, I would venture to guess that we would all rather have mercy than justice. So would those who have wronged us.
"But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you" This is a tough thing to do, but I can assure you that there is something about it that will help you let go of the hatred and strife. This is one where I think persistence is key-my experience is that I have a deep hurt from someone close to me and if I don't continue to do this, I will go back to bitterness. I have to love on purpose.
"Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves." There is a lot of power in doing this. I think of work situations where this has worked wonders in my experience. I've been the boss but I understand that nothing gets done without the workers; it's easy to make others more important a lot of times.
I'm not going to go through the whole list here, but this is widely regarded as the love chapter and it is popular at weddings and such. You probably know some of it: Love is patient, love is kind, does not envy, not selfish, etc. Let's look at verse 7 "It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." When someone has done you wrong, are you still hopeful and enduring all things?
Very thought provoking list!!! H5
Very beautiful! Thanks!
Excellent scriptures to keep people on track. I quite often fail at all these, but I keep practicing to love the unlovable as Jesus did. Look how God loves all of us! Amazing topic and good list.
Good reminder for us to revisit the Bible. H5
select one here...