"Don't pretend to love others. Really love them." Rom. 12:9a This season is all about love. It could be love for our family, love for our friends and love for those who are in need. Where I live, I see needy people everyday. Who do I help? How can I help? Am I really love them as I help them or just going through the motions? These are some questions I have been asking myself. Is my love pretend? I am finding that to truly love someone you have to give a part of yourself. It could be sharing time or goods. It could be sharing empathy or even understanding where they are coming from. With my family, it often means choosing them over me. It can also mean forgiveness at times even when it is hard. I Pet 4:8 says " Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins." I feel a deep love from my husband and kids. They see who I am and love me anyway. Hopefully I do the same in return. It is in this environment that we can feel safe and our love for each other can grow. It is from this safe place that we can reach out in love to those around us. This season my gift to myself is to try to really love those around me. For me, that will mean putting down what I am doing to spend time with my family. It will also mean stepping out of my comfort zone to engage the people I meet each day. It will mean thinking about how it will help the other person not what it will do for me. I wish this all came naturally but thankfully I have God's spirit inside of me to guide me and keep me on track if I will listen.
Dear Father of love, I praise you for your gift of love to us. You loved us even while we were yet sinners. Thank you for giving your Spirit. May I really love those around me through your Spirit. Take away the selfishness inside of me that often fights to take control. May I see you in each person I meet. In Jesus name, Amen