Love over everything.
No matter what, the answer is always love.
When you’re not sure what to do - LOVE
When you don’t know what to say - LOVE
When you’re angry - LOVE
When you’re happy - LOVE
When you’re sad - LOVE
No matter what - LOVE
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” — Matthew 22:36-40
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. - Mark 12:30-31
Love Over Everything
This is how I choose to live my life. I say choose because it’s not always easy. It’s what Jesus calls us to do. It’s the behavior He modeled for us when He walked on this earth among us. No matter the situation, no matter how He was treated, no matter someone else’s behavior, past history or sin, He treated them with love.
He drew people to the Father with love. People like the Samaritan woman at the well; He spoke hard truth to her in a way that didn’t push her away or make her feel more shame. He spoke the truth in love. And as a result, her encounter with Him brought others to know Christ.
“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” - John 4:39
I praise God that the Holy Spirit spoke to me the same way too. My sins were different from the woman at the well, but He made me face them in a loving way that drew me to surrender my life to Him and no longer be ashamed.
I love Him because He loves me
I am nowhere near perfect and I still sin and disappoint Him with my behavior sometimes, but He forgives me and responds in love every time. So the least I can do is treat others the same - extend the same love; no matter what.
This isn’t easy. Like you, I’ve experienced a lot of things in my life. Overt racism from strangers, unconscious racism from friends, the misdirected anger of others, sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender bias, age bias, being cheated on (not by my husband, but by almost every boyfriend before I got married), having my identity stolen by a close friend, a co-worker who tried to get me fired, being left out of social circles because of my infertility….and the list goes on. But through all of that, I’ve chosen love over everything.
Love over hate
Love over fear
Love over anger
Love over bitterness
Love over unforgiveness
Love over building walls around my heart
God’s love letter
Luke wrote a letter to Theophilus. It’s what we refer to as the New Testament Book of Luke. In it, he tells Theophilus about Jesus’ birth, His ministry and how the sacrificed Himself for our sins. Did you know that in greek, Theophilus name means “one who loves God”?! Think about that! God used Luke to write a letter to us, to those of us who love Him. And, this letter that tells Jesus’ story shows how much God loves us.
Not only the Book of Luke, but the whole Bible is God’s love letter to us. And in it, He commands us to love Him and love others. These commands are pretty simple to understand, but can be hard to implement in real life situations. But I want to encourage you that it can be done. I make mistakes, sometimes I loose my cool and don’t react with love. I have to repent, ask God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of the person I’ve hurt. But that’s a part of love. Being able to humble yourself when you’ve treated someone wrong.
Our love letter
When we love one another, we are loving Him. Loving your enemies or those who hurt you is what Jesus did and asks us to do. Love doesn’t mean you allow yourself to be abused or taken advantage of. It simply means that you try to see the other person through God’s eyes. You accept that they are His child even if their behavior doesn’t reflect Him. You recognize that He loves them too and you release the way you might want to react “in your flesh” and instead react “in the Spirit.” Pray for them, let go of your anger and treat them the way you believe Jesus would want you to. Loving is not always easy, but it’s what we are commanded to do. Let your life be your love letter back to God.
What’s the hardest situation you’ve experienced where you had to choose love?
Jamila is the founder of loved+blessed. On her personal mission to leave a legacy of encouragement, she blogs about her own life lessons with the hope that it will bring joy into others’ lives and help them find the courage to keep walking in faith knowing that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Read her testimony of how God turned her misery into ministry.