Everything we do for Christ, every one of His commands, comes back to a single word: love. Whether it’s seeking to bring justice to the oppressed or set victims of human trafficking free (Isaiah 58:6), we do this out of love. When we feed the hungry or provide clean water to villages that previously had no access to it (Matthew 25:35), we demonstrate God’s love. Using our time and resources to care for the single mothers or homeless people (James 1:27) demonstrates our love for them. Love is the key to every ill of our society. It is the salve for every wound and conflict. Love is the only answer, and it looks exactly like Jesus.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 that no matter what he did, if he did it without love, then he was full of hot air; he was simply making noise for the sake of drawing attention to himself. Without love, nothing we do for Christ will matter. Love demands right motives, which is why we look to the person of Jesus for our example. He was the embodiment of pure love in everything He did or said. Love drove Jesus to heal the sick, it drove Him to lash out at those who would cheat others for their own gain, and it drove Him to sacrifice Himself to die on our behalf.
If we do not love, then we cannot know God (I John 4:7-12). We can claim we love and serve Him, but if we don’t possess and exhibit love, we are only fooling ourselves. Saying we are disciples of Jesus and then turning away from someone in need proves that we are at best hypocrites, and at worst outright liars. If we love God, we will love others. That doesn’t mean we will demonstrate love perfectly every time we have the opportunity. We are imperfect people who will fail. Being a truly loving person is a matter of your attitude towards others.
Do you genuinely love those you encounter on a daily basis? Are you open to loving a total stranger you see stranded on the roadside or digging through their pockets in the checkout line? Love reacts to the circumstances we encounter every day. If we have love, we won’t be disinterested observers of life, but active participants seeking opportunities to go the extra mile for someone else. Love does what selfishness refuses to do. Love is about thinking more of others than ourselves. A single act of love can cover over a multitude of wrongs done to someone (1 Peter 4:8).
Can you honestly say that you love others? Love is meant to be shared. God loved us so that we would love others. This brings glory to God and salvation to the world. Love is the mission of Christ. It’s why He came, and why He died. It is why He desires to collaborate with us in our lives. Love is the reason God wants us to spend eternity together with Him. Whatever the decision, love is the proper choice. No matter the question, love is the answer. When everything else is stripped away we find that at the core of life, it’s all about love.