“Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and though I have faith, so that I could move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned but have not love, it profits me nothing” – 1st Corinthians 13: 1-3
Let’s always walk in love. Though easier to say, it is harder to do. But it is also through love that the world will know that we are of God. I pray that these 5 tips help you to walk in a long-suffering, kind, humble, bearing all things, believing all things and enduring all things kind of love.
One of the things that really opens me up to realisation that God actually loves me is how attentive He is. Little details are important to Him and He never forgets. Now we are not God. But we are like God. We have His spirit, His power and His ability to love. When I say be attentive, I don’t mean just to words but to actions. The other day someone was saying something to me. When she first started talking I wasn’t looking at her. But when I did, I noticed her body language, that’s when I heard in her voice that she wasn’t happy. And she needed some words of encouragement from me, but I wasn’t focused enough to realise it. And she didn’t say anything to me about it but guess what? I may have just given her the impression that she can’t talk to me because I don’t care. When you’re with people you love or just people a little attention goes a long way in knowing them more and knowing what they need. Be attentive not dismissive.
Tit not for Tat:
What does this mean? Stop basing your behaviour on how you think people will act. Just love them. This is something that can be very hard to do especially if you and this person or have had a difficult relationship in the past. You get so caught up in what you think the person will do or say, that you do not do what you should do – What the Spirit wants you to do.
You can’t always know or control how a person behaves but you can control how you behave. Do what Jesus would do and watch love change the hearts of people around you. What is the point of grace if it is earned?
You must forgive, as in forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself sets you free and enables you to forgive others. When you offend someone in a horrible way and you never get to say you’re sorry, or maybe you did but your conscience just can’t let it go. This can affect your ability to love that person and it also affects your future relationships. You cannot give what you do not have. Now you might ask, how do I forgive myself? Forget how you feel and focus on God’s word. How can I forget how I feel when it seems so real? It’s just that. A reality. Not THE reality. The reality is you are cleansed, washed, set free and righteous. The blood is greater, and God has given you peace. That is the reality. Spending time with God wakes you up to this reality. You start to let go of past experiences as you behold His glory as in a mirror and you are continually transformed into the same glory. A glorious being such as yourself cannot despise themselves.
Arise, stand loved and show love.
Love in general requires sacrifice but this particular one requires a lot of sacrifice. There is something about the physical presence of a friend or loved one that makes you feel safer, happier and more loved. And with the hustle and bustle of life this is not always an easy thing to do. But you can sacrifice your time or money or whatever if it is to show you are there for someone especially in a time of need.
One of the lies that devil uses to distance people from God, is to make them think He is not with them. That He left. But love does not leave. God promised to never forsake us. And when we are in His presence we know without a shadow of a doubt that He loves us. That is the same way your presence, your voice or your touch can make someone feel. So, though it may be hard, uncomfortable, or not something you’re used to doing, be there for your loved ones and try to be there for others as well.
There can be no love without surrender. You cannot be attentive without surrendering to the most attentive one. You cannot be graceful without surrendering to the most gracious one. You cannot forgive without surrendering to the most forgiving one. You cannot show love without surrendering to love Himself. How do I surrender? Practice. Go in your room and call His name. Lord Jesus, I am here to be with You. I’m will wait for You. Please come and be with me. I want to surrender to You. I don’t know how, so please teach me. Do this every day if you can. To seek help is to ask for help, so ask! It works! Soon you will find that it’s not so hard to love anymore. It’s not such a struggle between your flesh and the Spirit. For His word says not by might nor by power but by His spirit (Zechariah 4: 6).
Remember, we need to show love regardless of the circumstance, regardless of who the person is and what they have done. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love – 1st John 4: 8
Written by Uchenna Stephanie Akurunwa