In a recent post (see “When All is Said and Done”) I discussed how it is vital that we live our lives with an eye toward retelling our story to Jesus. This is an important concept to grasp, because each of us will one day have to give an account of our lives to Him (Romans 14:10-12).
With that in mind, I wanted to look at practical ways we can live to ensure we have a pleasing story to tell. This isn’t a list of “do’s and don’ts”, but rather a motivation that must invade every aspect of our lives. That motivation is love.
Since God at His very essence is love, and since He lives inside of those who choose to believe in and follow Him, it is only natural that love would flow through us and into everything we think, say, and do. Since the devil cannot conquer love, he does the next best thing he can do: he catches our eye, distracts us, and ultimately twists the object of our affection from God to ourselves. For hundreds of generations, the perverted truth of self-love has become ingrained into our culture and our individual and collective conscience.
The antidote for this sickness is to return God to His proper place as the object of our affection. This will be painful and at times will seem too difficult. But it is the necessary step we must take if we are to live as we were created to live. In I Corinthians 16:14, Paul tells us that everything we do must be done in love. As Greg Boyd explains, “This means that followers of Jesus should never engage in any activity that is not motivated by love and/or that does not promote love.” Love for God, love for others in His name, is to be the motivation for everything we do.
Too often we compartmentalize our life. We have our work life, our home life, and our private life. To live in this way promotes different sets of behaviors based on the context in which we find ourselves. It’s another devious but clever lie told to us by Satan. The devil wants you to believe that you can live for Christ in some areas, but other areas simply don’t make sense to do so. We can’t always be acting out of love after all; we have to earn a living and take care of our families. Sometimes we have to think of ourselves first, right? I hope you know the answer to that is an emphatic, ‘Wrong!’
Everything we do should and must be done with a motivation of demonstrating love to someone else. The words we say should always build up, not destroy (Ephesians 4:29). Every thought should be directed towards loving God or loving others in His name. Nothing we can do on earth matters except what we do for Jesus. Every motivation should be checked against whether or not it serves the purpose of loving God. If it doesn’t, why would we want to do it? If we want to live a story worth retelling to Jesus, we must reorient our lives so that everything we do is done in love. It’s not easy, but it is that simple. And it will be beautiful.
 “Servant God”, p.413