Jen’s Gem: Love is the answer.
Years ago, I remember hearing Tina Turner’s new song – “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” It was followed by a string of hits and her concerts sold out in minutes. She became an icon and a legend. However, it’s not Ms. Turner that I write about today but rather the title of this epic tune.
Love. A word that means many things. If you were to ask those around you what it means to them, it’s likely you’ll get a different definition from everyone. We love our kids. We love our friends. We love our work. We love our homes. We love our favorite outfit. The list goes on and on, but is this true love? The love that Jesus spoke about during his time on earth?
I’ve recently completed reading the books of the apostle John in the Bible. John was all about love. He was so much about love that he walked around telling everyone that he was the apostle that Jesus loved best. He even introduces himself in his books with this phrase.
I’ve written about John in prior blog posts, but he’s popping up on my heart again lately as God is giving me example after example to practice love a bit differently than I have in the past.
You may have heard the phrase “What would Jesus do?” when people are faced with a difficult situation and they are trying to do the right thing. In a sermon I heard a few weeks back, this was rephrased into “What would love do?” I thought this was so powerful – and life-changing.
What would love do at the DMV?
What would love do when your toddler (or teenager!) is having a tantrum?
What would love do when your co-worker gets the promotion instead of you?
These are just a few real-life examples where we can make a decision to act differently, unselfishly, and with more compassion. If you read only one book of the New Testament, you will quickly figure out that Jesus was all over this love thing. It’s all He talked about. Day in and day out. Oh, it may have been disguised in a parable or two here and there, but the bottom line? Love.
God knows it’s pretty hard for us mere mortals to love others. People are not always on their best behavior. They say mean things. They lie. They hurt us. How can we possibly love others like Jesus did when sometimes people are just plain unlovable? How can God expect us to love our enemies – when, let’s face it, we’ve got some pretty bad ones these days?
The answer? We can’t. Not without His help anyway.
That help is called grace. Grace is one of those things that is tough to get your mind around but thank God for it – or we’d be sunk. Grace is God’s favor – unmerited favor – on you and I. It’s a free gift. He lavishes His children with it every moment of every day. You don’t even have to ask for it. It’s just there. Why? Because God is love. And when He sent his Son Jesus to roam the earth and spread this love far and wide, He did it because of His unconditional, never-ending love for us.
Whenever I’m not feelin’ the love about someone or something, I am compelled to remember that God loves me and if He can love me with all of my warts and bumps and faults, well, then I can love others too. It’s the only thing He asks of us as His children. He’s only asked us to do one thing – love.
Practice Love Every Day
This week I’d like to encourage you to think differently about love. Then when you are faced with that long line at the grocery store with the cashier in training or the person who says something mean to you, instead of getting impatient, simply ask yourself, “what would love do right now?” Make the decision to love in that moment, and then watch your life change.
So, what’s love got to do with it? Everything, Tina. Everything.