Love is in the Care, Part 2

So what does true love look like in real life?

Start by asking yourself these tough questions to discover what it isn’t:

If you always make your boyfriend take you to the mall but never watch football with him, do you really love him?

If you never wake up early on Saturday morning to attend your sister’s piano recitals, do you really love her?

If you never let your little brother pick the movie to watch after dinner, do you really love him?

If you always talk about yourself with your friend and zone out whenever she starts talking, do you really love her?

If you always look up YouTube videos instead of helping your dad mow the lawn, do you really love him?

I know these questions may seem unreasonable, but they’re legitimate questions that require legitimate answers.

But if you’re starting to feel guilty, you’re not alone. I’m guilty of snatching the TV remote before my family can chime in with ideas, blabbing nonstop about myself instead of asking my friends about their lives, and checking my blog stats instead of letting my sister paint my nails with her new nail kit.

But, with God’s help, we can turn away from our selfish behaviors and behave selflessly instead.

 [Love] does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered (1 Corinthians 13:5).

To be honest, I’ve let my sister borrow my new book and called it “love.” (In reality, I’d finished the book yesterday and no longer needed it.)

I’ve talked to the new girl at church and called it a “sacrifice.” (In reality, my friend wanted to go say hi to her; I just tagged along and hoped to appear friendly.)

I’ve helped my mom make a casserole for dinner and called it “love.” (In reality, I would’ve rather made a casserole than water the garden, which she’d asked me to do earlier.)

But love often requires taking the “me” out of the equation.

It means putting yourself—including your hopes, dreams, and desires—after others.

What does it mean to love God and put Him before yourself?

It means not going to see the vulgar movie that all (and I mean every single one) of your friends is going to see, wearing a dress over your leggings instead of a t-shirt because you want to be modest, or serving at your church’s prayer breakfast even though you’re tired.

What does it mean to love others and put them before yourself?

It means striking up a conversation with the shyest kid in youth group instead of playing dodgeball with everyone else, listening to your grandpa talk about the Cold War even though you want to post pictures on Instagram, or working an extra shift so you can buy your dad a new drill for his birthday.

When you slap the “love” label on your actions, you need to ponder your motives. Do you want to give something—or get something—by doing those things? Do those actions require sacrifices on your part? Do they require care and special attention?

Love isn’t a choice; it’s a command. I wish it was a choice because then I could choose not to do it, but it is the foundation of our faith. Without love, we’re just like the world.

So try it.

Make a sacrifice.

Today.

I challenge you to give up your desire to fulfill someone else’s desire. It might be the hardest thing you ever do, but it pleases God.

As I wrote in my last post, “Love is in the Care, Part 1,” Christ made the greatest sacrifice for us by laying down His life. Can we make even a small sacrifice for Him and for others?

25 thoughts on “Love is in the Care, Part 2

Add yours

  1. Wow, that’s so nice of you to say. 🙂 I really appreciate that!

    You are not the only one who struggles with this. I definitely do (and so does everyone)! I think we can pray for God to work in our hearts and then look for opportunities throughout the day to show others we care about them and to show God we care about Him.

    We won’t get it right every time, but I know I can totally improve in this area. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, this was so challenging…
    I struggle with this so much and I know everyone else does too… But we, or at least me, distort love into something that’s convenient for us to do. Like, oh, if it’s convenient, I’ll “talk” to the new girl, or I’ll “give up” the movie I want to watch, or I’ll “sacrifice” my time to do something special for someone else. And then it makes us feel better but we still know deep down that it wasn’t true love…. Agh, it’s so frustrating to think about, but challenging as well…
    Thanks so much for this post. Really made me think and examine my motives. And btw, your writing style is fantastic. Love it 😉 ❤

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  3. I really appreciate your thoughtful comment, Emily. I hope you enjoy my blog and find it encouraging. Thank you for commenting and for reading!

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  4. Hi Grace! Wow. This is a really well-written post with a timely message. Thank you so much for sharing! You are so right about the concept of giving something versus wanting to “get” in return…really easy to overlook (or justify in one’s heart!). I just found your comment from a few days ago on my blog (yeah, I know…missing a comment = blogger mistake #1!! haha :), and now I’m looking forward to reading more of what you’ve written here! Keep up the great work…

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  5. Excellent post! I appreciate your gut-level honesty and practical examples. Keep up the great work!

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  6. Wow! You described how exactly how I often feel. We’re selfish because we still have a sin nature, even as Christians. :/ I choose to be selfish because I’m letting my sin nature, not my new nature as a Christian, control me. To stop it, I need to decide I want to change my behavior and rely on the Holy Spirit to help me change. Also, remembering that I will make mistakes is essential. If I have the expectation that I’ll love well in every situation, then I will be greatly disappointed.
    I hope this post provided some practical examples to help you. I need to start doing them myself! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s cool! I remember when I was nine or ten I decided I was going to take the fruits of the Spirit one at a time and “master them all.” And the first one was love.

    I gave up in a hurry.

    I really do need to be more self-sacrificing … I carry a lot of guilt around because I’m not, but I always just do the selfish thing anyway, ignoring the guilt. I guess it’s human, but I always end up really disliking myself. :/

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  8. This is so good and so timely! I’m starting a project where I focus on one of the fruits of the Spirit each month, and June is love. So I needed this to get me off on the right foot!

    Like

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