What does my love look like?

What does my love look like title page

What does my love look like?

By Kirsty Armitage

What does my love look like? 

‘Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV) 

Disability Awareness Sunday happened recently in New Zealand and our focus for this year was ‘Just Love’. When I look at this scripture in relation to disability awareness and inclusion there are many thoughts that come to mind but I wanted to share two of them. 

Firstly, there are no exceptions in the command to love your neighbour. There is no ‘out’ if I feel that it’s too hard to love a certain person. We are commanded to love all our neighbours. To me, my neighbour is anyone who is next to me, anyone I do life alongside. It may be someone I only meet once, or it may be someone I see every day.  

My second thought is more of a question. What does loving my neighbour truly look like? We know the definition from 1 Corinthians 13.  

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor 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.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV) 

For many people with disabilities and their families, there is still the potential for someone to act with this in mind and the action not be loving. What do I mean by that? Well, what I think is an act of kindness might not be received as that.  

I might think that getting someone a drink without asking them is kind but if I haven’t asked them there is a risk of them not wanting a drink or me getting the wrong type of drink. I might think that praying for someone to be healed is kind but it come across as saying there is something wrong with that person. 

Should we not do these things in case we offend or get it wrong? No, but let’s first take the time to ask. Offer to get someone a drink. Ask someone what they would like prayer for and ask if you can pray for them. The more we get to know someone, the more likely we are to know what would be loving to them. I think, it’s better to be acting out of love and making some mistakes, than keeping to ourselves and not shining the light that is in us because of Christ Jesus.  

Prayer: Heavenly Father. Thank you that you first loved us. Help me to see how I can love my neighbour more. Especially my neighbours who may seem different from me. Amen 

Click here to listen to the full devotion.

About the Author

Kirsty Armitage is the Director of Elevate Christian Disability Trust. Kirsty is an incredible leader, speaker, teacher and kind-hearted woman who leads Elevate with a passion like no other. Outside of Elevate, Kirsty loves spending time with her friends and family.