On one of my visits to the airport a banner hung above the escalator which proclaimed, “Welcome Home, Troops” to all who looked above the stairs. USO volunteers in red vests were ready to greet the returning soldiers with small gifts of thanks as they arrived. Family members waited impatiently behind a rope partition clutching flowers, flags, and yellow ribbons.
|God first loved us|
As one soldier received his token from the greeter, he turned toward the family waiting area and spied a young boy. The man got down on his knees, opened his arms, inviting the toddler into his embrace. The boy ran toward the invitation of his father and was covered in strong hands that lovingly held him tight.
This is how God wants to love us. He opens Himself, waiting for us to run to him. We can love him because He first loved us (I John 4:10).
But how do we love one another, especially someone who isn’t acting in a godly manner?
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV).
Sometimes we think it’s impossible to do, but Christ has instructed us on more than one occasion to love each other. It’s easy to love our relatives and friends when they love us in return. When everyone is acting like they should and being nice, it takes no effort to follow God’s command.
|Anger can be diffused with love|
But what about the grumpy sales clerk, the person who cuts us off in traffic, or the angry boss? Our inability to love the unlovely is difficult when we define love as the emotion we feel when we use the word love.
Treating someone the way Christ would treat them in an undesirable situation has nothing to do with emotion, but everything to do with action. God’s unconditional love is a choice not a feeling. It will be a daily decision we make when we encounter those who are difficult.
How can we withhold love, the greatest gift God ever gave to man, from others? He didn’t withhold it from us.
Today’s Roadmap: I will make a conscious decision today to show the love of God to all those I encounter. I will not depend upon my feelings, but I will guide my actions by God’s commands.
Share your thoughts about loving others.