“A new command I give you. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another,” John 13:34-35 ♥
We all know that we’re supposed to LOVE one another. It’s the basics of Christianity but it’s easier said than done. Anyone can love their family and friends or people they like and get along with but it’s very difficult to love someone who you dislike and you know they do not wish you well. LOVE is a choice and not a feeling. You can choose whether to love a person or not. If you’re like me and have prayed: “Lord, help me to love and increase my capacity to love those that are unlovable.” You will be tested!!!!!!
I went through the ‘love test’ a few weeks ago. I had a conversation with someone and apparently said something that she found hurtful and as a result she ran home crying because she was offended by what I said. I honestly didn’t mean to upset her!! The old Stacy BC (Before Christ) would’ve said: “Oh well, that’s her problem. If she is upset she will get over it” and I would’ve gone about my business. But I knew that God was testing me and I was determined to pass the test because if I failed it I’d have to take it again.
I thought she overreacted and was being too emotional and I REALLY didn’t want to talk to her because I didn’t like how she handled the situation. Nevertheless, I knew that I had to try to make amends by apologising. As children of God we are supposed to walk in Love regardless of how we feel. My flesh didn’t want to talk to her let alone love her but I knew that I had too.
So, I approached her to discuss what happened and to say sorry. I was reminded of the scripture “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9. I apologised as my attempt to make peace and to walk in love. I really hope I passed that test!!
There are four different types of love:
1. AGAPE love which is an unconditional love that God has for us and the type of love we are supposed to show to each other. This is the kind of love that is all about sacrifice and giving without expecting anything in return. It loves regardless of a person’s flaws, shortcomings or faults. “God proves his love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” Romans 5:8
2. PHILEO love is a friendly affectionate love that friends have for one another.
3. STORGE love is the type of love that family have for each other or the love that parents naturally feel for their children.
4. EROS love is a sexual love that is based on physical intimacy. So back in the day when you had your little boyfriend/girlfriend and said you “loved” them that was EROS love.
The ONLY thing that will differentiate the children of God from those who are not is how we love people. We are commanded to have an AGAPE love for one another. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples.”
All I can say is “LORD HELP ME” I’m expected to do something that is not in my natural ability to do. My flesh doesn’t want to love people I don’t like. To be honest, I don’t want to talk to them. But then I’m reminded of the countless times that I turned my back on God to “do my own thing” and I can assure you that I was doing things that God did not like but the whole time God STILL loved me when I did nothing to deserve it. I was still loved in the midst of my sin and blatant disobedience. Since I have been forgiven and God loves me unconditionally, with the help of the Holy Spirit I’m challenged to forgive and love people [even my haters] with an AGAPE love through my words and actions.
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth,” 1 John 3:18
Just know that as children of God we will have to take the ‘love test’ sometimes daily until we are perfected. We will come across people in our daily lives that will annoy and upset us but we still have to represent Christ and still love them with an AGAPE love.
Miss I ♥