At the heart of all we’ve been contemplating this week is love. The bottom line is what leads me to care about someone is love…what leads me to feel cared for is love.
Not just an emotion, but an action. Love is a willingness to put another person before myself. Love is selflessness, not selfishness.
To bring one more psychology point into this week’s discussion…Maslov’s hierarchy of needs lists “Love & Belonging” as the third basic need after basic physical needs (food, water, clothing, shelter) and the need for safety.
People want to not just know, but feel loved. God created us not just as physical beings that need certain things to sustain life, he created us as emotional beings that need love and someone to love.
But our world has struggled to understand love. Much of love focuses on self…my needs…my satisfaction and little has to do with serving the needs of others. Love focuses on the physical and the sexual relationships, the emotional “highs” that we get when endorphins start flowing. Yet all of these definitions fail to define what true love is.
So what is love? Let’s start with God’s love.
We know God cares about us because he loved us.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John3:16).
We know God cares about because he gave up his life for us.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he gave up his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
We know God loves us because he makes us his children.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1)
The opportunity we have is to take the way we have been loved by God and extend that to others. What does that look like? Consider 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Loving another person can be challenging. People make it hard to love them. Our hurts from past relationships get in the way of investing in current ones. Yet, the opportunity we have is to let the people around us not just know we care, but that Jesus cares. They matter…they have value…they are visible…they have a voice. How do we let them know Jesus cares? Show love to them.
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Apply: Who is someone God brings to mind that needs to experience his love through you? What might you do to show love…to show you care…to show God cares?
Prayer: Thank you Lord for loving us first. Lead us to love others as you have loved us. Let us show people you care about them by showing how much we care about them. AMEN.