I am presently reading a book by Max Lucado titled ‘A Love Worth Giving’ and of course my mind is full of thoughts of love and what it entails. Ordinarily, I would describe myself as a loving person and for so long; I have attributed that quality to my own effort at keeping anger and mistrust at bay. Yet “my loving nature” doesn’t prevent me from feeling upset with a friend for not acting or sounding concerned enough about what am going through at that moment, or not calling often enough.
Love still doesn’t prevent me from snapping unnecessarily at others because I am not in the mood or soothes my irritable nature when it rears its ugly head. My love doesn’t help do all these things and the fact is that it wouldn’t, not until I understand the Luke 7:47 principle “A person who is forgiven little shows only little love? Take the story of the harlot and Simon in that same chapter. The harlot (assuming she was one because the bible didn’t say) proved to love Jesus more and according to Christ, this was so because she had more to be grateful for. Simon on his high horse didn’t understand this because he probably felt he deserved God’s love. Oh, how little he knew and how great he lacked an essential ingredient.
Until we recover that missing ingredient, our attempt at love will remain that, an attempt, one that just might choke us up. What is that missing ingredient, you might ask? It’s simple, God’s Love. Now don’t roll your eyes just yet and give me (or my article) that look. According to 1 John 4:19, we love because he first loved us, not because it is expected or because it is the way things are suppose to be. We simply love by receiving God’s love first. We give love because we have been given, a love that wasn’t ours originally but now, it is ours to live with and give out. Long to be more loving? Then accept your place as a dearly loved child (Eph 5:1-2). Want to learn to forgive? Begin by accepting how you have been forgiven all yours sins. Finding it hard to put others first? Think of the way Christ put you first (Phil 2:6)
Truth is, the harder we try our best to love, the harder life will get for us because the best love is not in us but in God so give his love as we allow it envelop us. Until we understand the height of all we have been forgiven, we will never really appreciate and accept the enormity of God’s love, hence, we will never be true lovers and givers (loving and giving without grief). In other words, we cannot give what we have never received. We will continue to try, oh so hard, as if we can conjure love by the sheer force of will, if we don’t understand the 7:47 principle.
By Bunmi Obanawu