God is love. The purpose of us here on earth is to worship God and love one another. Love covers a multitude of sins and it is the fulfillment of the law. Jesus said we should all strive to be perfect like our heavenly Father is perfect. It is God’s love that sustains us. God is long-suffering, extremely patient with us. We would all be headed for destruction were it not out of God’s love to send His only Son in this world to die for our sins so that we may be saved.
The world has its own definition of love, and the definitions are as diverse as there are many of us. It gets all confusing when we try to get advice from people, it is surprising what people will tell us; some say we have to do something in order to gain love, others say we have to be a certain way, others say we have to say certain things, others will tell you to compromise. But what does compromise really involve? Does it mean we compromise our values? Does it mean we give in order to receive? Does it mean we demean ourselves in the process? Does it mean we do or say something we don’t want to just to please the other person? What really is compromise?
One thing is certain though, we should never compromise our relationship with God in order to gain temporary things of the world. It is never worth it.
It is an uncertain world. People have all sorts of intentions. It seems like everyone wants to get something from the other person. It seems like the world says you have to give something in order to receive something; we have been told nothing is for free, even love. Whether it is between families, friends, acquaintances, strangers; it seems like the situation is the same. The motto is, give me this and I will give you the other.
Most people never reveal their intentions with words but their actions say exactly where their hearts are. There are those who will be there out of loneliness, out of fear to be alone, out of fear to ‘miss out on life’, in order to get fulfillment, others want material gain, others just want pleasures, others want companionship. It seems most of us are fear-driven. We live in fear, whether we know it or not.
Fear drives us to do or say things we would never otherwise do or say. Fear makes us stay with people who are not good for us, people who are abusive and mistreat us. Fear makes us irrational. Fear makes us not see people for who they are. It makes us seek fulfillment, validation, acceptance, and praise from people. We feel empty inside and feel like we need someone to fill those voids. As a result, we cling to people and situations and make gods out of them. We put ourselves in situations that are not healthy for us. We allow people to talk down on us. We think staying in unhealthy situations, whether physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, or even geographically, is a sign of love. We have been deceived.
What is our standard of love? How do we know what love is in a world where there are so many diverse opinions and voices? How do we stay grounded and not react in fear? How do we know? Only God can reveal the truth to us. God Himself is love. He is our standard. His character is one of love. He never forces Himself on us. He wants us to go to Him out of our own free will. He instructs us on what to do yet does not force us into doing something. He tells us, these are the consequences when you do or say this and this. God demonstrates His love for us. While we were still sinners, He gave His Son. There is no greater love than that. Love is sacrificial.
The Bible tells us what love is; love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no accounts of wrong, love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices with the truth, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. That is God’s standard of love.
We realize that we have to be in a relationship with God in order to be able to love. We cannot do it with our own strength. We will easily give up and get frustrated. Love suffers long, it tells the truth, it does not involve giving to receive. We love others because we love God. It is God who matures us by the power of the Holy Spirit. With time, we bear fruit, part of it being love. We have to be in a certain state of being in order to love as God calls us to. If everything in our surroundings is destabilizing us, we will always react in fear. We will cling to things and people instead of letting go. It is only God who fulfills the deep longings of the human heart.
When we develop a relationship with God, we become fearless. There is really nothing to fear in this world. Everything in the world will pass away. We start walking by faith instead of physical sight. We do not worry about the future, about people who have left, about whether they will stay, about whether they love us back. We leave that between them and God. We see things and people as God sees them. We love as God loves.
But where there are prophesies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be restrained; where there is knowledge, it will be dismissed. For we know in part and prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial passes away. 1 Corinthians 8-10.
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