Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Our Capacity to Love


There’s an old story of a farmer and his wife, Tom and Jane.  Jane never received any affection from Tom nor did he ever tell her that he loved her.  One day, Jane blurted out to Tom, “Why don’t you ever tell me that you love me?”  Tom stoically replied, “Jane, when we were married I told you that I loved you, and if I ever change my mind, I’ll let you know.”

Well, the truth of the matter is that is simply not enough.  As Christians, we must express love daily.  The Bible speaks a great deal about love.  One of the most well-known chapters is I Corinthians 13 found in Paul’s writing to the Corinthian church.  Many people know it well.  It is not uncommon at all to hear it quoted in wedding ceremonies, but it has something more to say to us than being just a thought as we enter into marriage.  It speaks to us about our quality of living, no matter what our marital status.

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seeks its own, is not provoked… Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails… And the greatest of these is love.”

There is a lot said about love in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.  Jesus taught us a new commandment – to love one another.  Our capacity to love becomes the measurement of our lives.  There is no doubt that love is the standard Jesus is the most concerned about when it comes to how we live.

When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was he said it was to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. 
           
If we want to have an expanded capacity for loving people, it will not happen by chance.  We have to be intentional about making loving people our priority. We have to be intentional about loving God and letting him love us.

1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.”  If we need help growing in our ability to love we need to look no further than our own relationship with Jesus Christ.  We will never increase our own capacity to share love with others until we increase our own capacity to receive love from God.

Once you experience and receive such unconditional love from God, you cannot help but share it with those who are around you. We tend to exude what we are filled up with on the inside.

So how is your capacity to love?  I hope it is continually growing and increasing.  May it be so today!