Love Always Leaves A Mark
Love always leaves a mark.
I heard someone say that the other day and it really stuck with me. Love leaves a mark on us.....How we love people matters! Whether we love people well, or not so well, it leaves a mark.
I will be the first to admit to you that I do not love well. I would like to think I love well, but I don't, and reality is that most of us don't love well. It's not that we don't want to love people well, most of us just don't know what love really is. Just look at everything going on in the world today! There is a major lack of love!
When it comes to love, we typically give what we're given. We love with conditions. We love the people who love us, we love the people who are nice to us. We love the people who look and act like us, but what about the ones who aren't so nice to us though? The ones who don't look like us or act like us? What about people that have hurt us? Do we love them?
Love is not a bartering system. We can't just give love in order to get love in return. Where is the reward in that?
In the second quarter of the year (April-June), we are going to study what the Bible says about love. We’ll start with studying God’s love, and then move on to discovering God’s heart and intentions for the unmarried and married seasons of life.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” -Matthew 5:43-48
The problem is that we think love is an emotion. But, emotions are just a byproduct of love. Love is a choice. It's a choice you have to make every day.
Paul makes it pretty clear here what love is and what it isn't:
"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 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." -1 Corinthians 13:1-7
Love isn't just emotion. Sometimes, it's just being kind to your neighbor. Or buying a meal for someone. Sometimes, love is just sitting down with someone and listening as they share their heart. Sometimes, that's all we need.
We have been freely loved, so we ought to love freely as well. Jesus says to love one another as He has loved us.
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." -John 13:34
"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins." -1 Peter 4:8
How are you loving people today? What kind of mark are you leaving?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Taylor is a lover of Jesus, coffee, and kittens. She is also a lover of the arts. In her spare time you can find her behind the camera capturing the beauty of nature or painting. Taylor's passion is leading women closer to the heart of God through music and written word. She attended IHOP's (International House of Prayer) Forerunner Music Academy where she studied voice and worship leading. Taylor currently serves as part of her local churches worship team and lives in a ministry house that focuses on transforming their neighborhood through the love of Christ.