God has been transforming my way of thinking over the past few years. He has used many trials and struggles to show me that my dependence should be on Him alone. I should not look to my spouse or my kids or my possessions for joy and strength. He alone is my strength and my provider. Oh, I still have my days of anxiety and doubt, but my God has proved faithful and continues to deliver me from those doubts.
With the change in thinking comes a change in action. The other day I was listening to a sermon by Andy Stanley and he was talking about moving from just being a Christian to becoming a true disciple of Jesus. He said to do that we have to live each day looking outside of ourselves. He said we should start each day asking ourselves, "What does love require of me today?" Would starting your day with that question change your world?
If we started each day asking "What does love require of me?" then the world would be a much better place. We would speak honestly and kindly to our family, even the ones we don't agree with. We would stop ourselves from speaking in condescending and disrespectful tones to make ourselves appear more intelligent. We would meet physical and spiritual needs immediately and sacrificially. We would joyfully serve everyone we came in contact with. When we live out the love of Christ in our daily lives we make a huge impact in the lives of others.
Think about how Christ loved and whom he loved. Christ's love was pure, selfless and honest love. He did not sugar coat sins so that people would feel his love for them. If we want to love like Jesus we must be truthful and authentic in our love. Don't let others tell you that love overlooks and whitewashes sin. It does not. Loving like Jesus is not society's current perversion that says "Jesus is love and everything is ok because Jesus loves everybody." Jesus loved people by speaking truth into their lives and circumstances. If someone feels guilty for their actions or behaviors when we speak God's truth in love then that is our opportunity to show them their need for a Savior not to just tell them "it's ok, God loves you anyways".
Loving like Jesus is giving oursleves to others who may not return our love so that others will see Christ's love in us. It's easy to love those who love us back, to give to those who return a favor, to loan to those who we know will pay us back, to sacrifice for those who we think deserve it and to help others we're close to during a crisis. However, that's not really loving like Jesus. Jesus loved those who hated him, those who were unclean, those who were outcasts, those who betrayed him, and those who society saw as unworthy of love.
So what does that love look like in my world? I ask God to show me the world through His eyes. I see the homeless man on the corner as an opportunity to love like Jesus. I see the unruly child at camp as an opportunity to love like Jesus. I see the rude cashier as an opportunity to love like Jesus. I see unkind words from a family member as an opportunity to love like Jesus. I see the defiance of my children as an opportunity to love like Jesus. I see the faces of hunger here and overseas as an opportunity to love like Jesus. I no longer seek to satisfy my own selfish desires with more and more stuff.
I start each day asking "What does love require of me today?"
So what does loving like Jesus look like in your world? Are you willing to start each day asking "What does love require of me today?"
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.