Courageous Love

The word 'love' spelt out on wooden blocks

2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” It’s one of my favourite verses at the moment. It’s definitely been one of my battle Bible verses this year.

The Encourager

We have such an incredible and generous God who gives us His love. We don’t need to earn it, He just gives it to us in abundance. And a great definition for love in the Bible comes from 1 Corinthians13:4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

In the New Testament, Jesus talks about being the true vine and we are the branches and the importance of really attaching ourselves to Him and having the foundation of our lives in Him. Then we are able to produce good fruits. And as we know in Galatians 5, it talks about love being a fruit of the Spirit. If we really want to produce love as a fruit of the Spirit and love others, how can we actually attach ourselves to God in our day-to-day lives?

I know from the outside, I know how to act and look like a Christian but this year I’ve really learnt the importance of having a daily and personal effort to actually become dependent on God. And I’ve learnt that the closer we become to God and act like Jesus as He was on earth, the easier it is to produce these good fruits.

But I know it’s definitely not easy loving others. Maybe there is someone at school or at university or in your workplace that you just clash with all the time. Maybe there is someone who has hurt you that you find difficult to love. Or maybe there is someone in your family or a relationship you really need to reconcile. Trust me, I find it hard myself to love every single person.

One thing that I do to remind myself to be more loving to others, is I’ll read that same verse in 1 Corinthians and I’ll replace the word ‘love’ with my own name. So instead, I’ll say, Olivia is patient, Olivia is kind. Olivia does not envy, I do not boast, I am not proud, I do not dishonour others, I am not self-seeking and so on. And it’s a really good, practical reminder on how I can be more like God and loving others.

So, let’s make it a daily reminder of God’s perfect love for us and to express that to others, even people that are difficult to love. Because if God can love us, as imperfect as we are, we should also be able to love others in our world.


The Encourager magazine front page



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