L-O-V-E

*Well, apparently WordPress decided to vote against me and work on their website last night. How rude, I know. It’s up and running now, so just pretend this was posted last night! *

Here is what I found out about love today: I am very bad at it. 

You would think someone who spends their time writing about beauty and life would have it all figured out, but I don’t. That’s the big, beautiful truth. 

Today I learned that love-contrary to popular belief- is a choice. It doesn’t come naturally. It doesn’t reside in a soft, heartfelt feeling. It is often painful, uncomfortable, and just plain annoying to do. 

And yet- we’re called to love. We’re called to “lay down [our lives] for [our friends]” (John 15:13). We are called to give sacrificially. We are called to empty ourselves for the sake of another. We are called to be like Christ. 

I don’t really think it was easy for Christ to love His neighbor. We tend to think of Christ as less than human. We tend to think that the everyday challenges weren’t hard for Him. We tend to think it came so naturally that He gave it no thought.

That’s not true, though. In Hebrews 4:15 it says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are- yet was without sin.” 

Jesus was tempted to ignore His neighbor. He was tempted to lash out with impatience, and He was tempted to be selfish. He knows exactly where we are coming from, yet He was able to overcome the natural reactions in order to honor God. To me, that is part of God’s genius. He knew that temptations on this earth would be so great that we would throw up our hands in defeat and tell Him, “I can’t do it. I give up.” He saw our weakness, so He sent His son to live our lives. He sent His son into a world full of temptation so that we could know there is hope. 

Because Christ has already gone through every temptation we could encounter here on this earth, we have the power to overcome. Through Christ we can love our enemies. Through Christ we can love those friends we don’t agree with. Through Christ we can step out of our comfort zones and love sacrificially. 

Today I made an effort to love people. Am I great at it? Absolutely not. Does my life showcase Christ’s love at every turn? No. 

But the beauty is not in the perfection… the beauty is in the willingness to love when everything in you says to not.

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