Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8, KJV)
…he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law… (Romans 13:8, Amplified)
In the last few days I’ve had a little scratch in my heart when I think about a friend of mine. There were some things this person had done, that were very minor, really no big deal and I’m not sure why they even did it. There could be any number of really good reasons for what they had done. Yet still these little things kept scratching at my heart.
I finally took a moment to think about why these things bothered me. I came to the conclusion that when this person did these things, I felt unloved. Now just because I felt that way does not mean this person doesn’t love me. As a matter of fact, I know this friend loves me. But what was scratching at my heart was that I felt like they didn’t love me.
Now, I know better than this, yet I still found myself in this position. Then I remembered something very important. I am not responsible for other people loving me. I am responsible for loving them.
The moment I shifted my attention off whether they loved me or not, and onto purposely loving them, by believing the best of them and not noticing a suffered wrong (in this case a supposed suffered wrong), I felt that scratchy feeling leave my heart and a wave of the Love of God overwhelm my heart for them.
God’s love, agape, is unconditional. It is not based on the recipient’s performance. We love them when they do right. We love them when they do wrong. We love them when they love us. We love them when it seems and feels like they don’t love us. This is agape and this is each person’s individual responsibility.
Keep in mind this is how God loves you… unconditionally!
Henry Drummond said, “Love begets love.” God said, “Love never fails.” Don’t worry about whether the other person loves you or not. You focus on whether you are walking in love towards them or not. Are you being patient and kind? Are you believing the best of them? Are you covering a multitude of sins?
I have done this many times and have seen people who had previously responded to me in unlovely ways, begin to respond in love.
This especially works between husbands and wives, but let’s not forget to practice it with our children, our extended families, our friends, our co-workers and the people who cross our path each day.
…love one another; as I have loved you… (John 13:34, KJV)