Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Called to Love

We have been called by God to love. The fact that it's the most important commandment in the Bible must mean its impact is pretty powerful. Without it, nations are destroyed, marriages are torn apart, and only death remains. But, with love, relationships are restored, Hope is found, and lives flourish.

“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)

In what ways do you feel called to follow God's commandment to love one another as He loves us? What kind of impact do you think your love could have on another person by following this commandment?

When I think of my obligation to love others well, I am always reminded of this quote by Mother Teresa:
“Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own home. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor . . . Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”

Sounds simple enough. But, how could we put this into practice on a daily basis? I'm glad you asked! Here's a simple task list I created just for you:

- Spreading love in your home: Look at your people. Are you loving them well? What things can you do to ensure they feel loved? Maybe your toddler needs some extra quality time after sitting in "time out" practically all day. Or maybe your husband needs someone to hear about his rough day at work, followed by a great big hug. Be aware of how your loved ones are feeling and if they need encouragement. Think of  things you may need to rearrange in your schedule to allow time to spread love in your home on a regular basis.

- Spreading love in your offline community: Start noticing your neighbors across the street. Could they use an extra hand shoveling the snow in their driveway? Do you think a plate of cookies might finally put a smile on Mr. Wilson's face? You never know how much your simple act of kindness could impact their day or even impact the way they view God. Be a servant, sacrifice a smile, and continue asking God to put specific people on your heart that need to be loved or encouraged daily.

- Spreading love in your online community: I think if Mother Teresa were alive today, she'd agree that this way to live life should also apply to your blog (am I right? Sure, I'm right!). Your blog is your voice. If you're looking to use your online time wisely, start using it as a tool to influence and encourage others, to spread the Gospel, to guide others to Hope, and to "be a living expression of God's kindness." If you're looking to build community online, start connecting and creating real relationships. Ask God to place a specific woman (or two) on your heart to be called to show kindness and encourage.

I encourage you to start asking yourself on a daily basis, "What have I done with God's love today?" Even on days you don't feel capable of loving others, ask God to help you. The power of sharing God's love with others will only further the plan God has for you.

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