The secret to Love

14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (2 Co 5:14–15). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Looking through the verses on love in the New Testament is for the purpose of getting a better understanding of what love means to God.  When I came across 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, it struck me as the practical summary that I’ve been looking for.  We all know love is good. We know love is valuable and something to be treasured.  But how do I go from a person who is selfish, unconcerned about other people, and one who keeps wanting more things to a being a person of love?

The gospel is always simplicity.  I needed a Savior (therefore all have died).  Jesus became my Savior (one has died for all).  I no longer live for myself, but for the one who died for me.  The book In His Steps caused a lot of Christians to consider living life in a new mindset, and at its core, is the essence of our new life.  At each choice or juncture in life, we must ask ourselves which decision will bring the most good for Jesus?

The hard part is that the decisions stop being easy.  We can all agree that one should not kill their neighbor, but in God wants us to grow to be one who by knowing God and His character, our anger can cause us to offend God, as much as killing our neighbor would.   We do not grow across that gap in one night, or a week or month of following God. Only through patiently listening as we walk through life in the Spirit can He reveal to us where our heart is hurting Him.

One key I’ve found is the fruit of the Spirit.  Which of the fruit (in Gal 5:22) am I not demonstrating?  If you examine the instances, lets say un-gentleness or roughness, God’s Spirit can lead you to growth.

Let’s take the kids scenario:

  1. Child A does something to hurt a sibling.
  2. I react by yelling at child A.

Will my yelling stop the bad behavior? Generally, yes (I’m really LOUD).  Child A may also pick the habit back up behind my back.

What can the walk in the Spirit reveal?

  1. Child A does something to hurt a sibling.
  2. I react by seeking out the motivation for hurting.  At times, it may reveal pain in Child A’s heart, or perhaps desire for revenge.  In either situation, my response leads to better understanding, and opportunity for prayer and reconciliation.

The same for co-workers.  If a co-worker messes up, what is my response?  Do I ask and see if there were external factors?  Even if not, perhaps the mistakes or messing up were due to my own failures for teaching or explanation.

Bottom line: Seeing my own sin always lower my independence, while choosing to live for Jesus while always increase both my understanding of Him, and my dependence on Him.

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