I have been increasingly sensitive lately to when I say “I love you” to others.
As such, I have become even more sensitive to when others say “I love you” to me.
I feel that we have overused “I love you” so much, that it has completely lost its meaning. We say we love lots of things. We love the weather when it’s really nice out. We love a really good sale. We love a really funny show. We love sports. We love songs. We love a brand new car or new house. We love certain brands of potato chips or hot dogs. Don’t get me started on ice cream (chocolate with slabs of peanut butter of course!)
Truly, I’m starting to feel like a hot dog to some people…and then I started to question if I make people feel like hot dogs too.
This is super serious in case this sounds petty to some or not a big deal to others. Look what Jesus says about love…
John 13:34-35 (ESV) 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
So the first thing I see is love is a commandment. So this love thing is an action…a choice.
Second thing is, the way I love also shows others that I actually belong to Christ.
1 John 3:18 (ESV) Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
This tells me that just my words…just saying “I love you” is not what proves my love. It is my deeds and truth. I gotta know what this means too!
1 Peter 4:8 (ESV)8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
This tells me that we are not to stop but to keep going and going. Not just when the going is good but especially when the going gets tough.
1 John 4:7-8 (ESV)7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
This gives me hope because love is from God.
But then I check myself. I believe that to love people like Jesus can only be done to the extent that we are abiding in the Father.
John 15:1-17 (ESV)15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
This abiding in the Father is important…because without Him, we can do nothing. With Him, there is much fruit…much love.
I want it. I want to be known as His…by the way I love others.
If I’ve made you feel like a hot dog, I’m sorry. I’m trying to figure out this thing called love.
Here’s what I’m gonna do…I’m gonna start by diving into and tearing apart 1 Corinthians 13 and I’m gonna share right here what God is teaching me. I’m excited! Do it with me and share what God is teaching you. We are in this together.
We need to know what we mean when we say “I love you.” Here is something else…what does it mean when God says He loves us? And what in the world do you mean when you say you love God?
Let’s really think about what comes out of our mouths. What is in our hearts when we say I love you?
Are you loving people like a hot dog? Do you feel like a hot dog?
Feel free to share your thoughts and questions right here as we journey together in our New Life.
I want to love like Jesus. Do you?