I remember a conversation I had while in college. (Those were the years we had to define everything, quantify everything, and solve everything.) The discussion on the table was, “What is love?” My reply was quite simple, “Love is a feeling and a commitment.” Someone said, “No, it is just a feeling.” My reply to them was, “No, because there will be days when there are no feelings, and on those days the commitment is what holds the relationship together.”
Our feelings are so fickle. May be your feelings are not fickle, but mine are. I can be laughing one minute and crying the next. This week-end I was actually doing both at the same time, and I was not crying because I was laughing so hard.
I am teaching the 3rd -6th grade young ladies at church from Ephesians 2:8-10. The purpose of these lessons has been to teach them what our purpose in life is. According to Ephesians 2:10 “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Our purpose in life is to perform the good works that we were created for. Before we can even perform these good works, though, we must be a child of God. We learn about that from Ephesians 2:8, 9.
So what then is our purpose? What are the “good works” that we are to perform? We must love! If we look at Philippians 2, we see that we are to have “the same mind, and the same love” as Jesus. What kind of love did He have? Sacrificial love. Was His love based on how He felt or the commitment He had to His Father and to us believers? His love was based on a commitment. Jesus being fully human and fully God at the same time was able to understand our frailties. Is there a time while Jesus was on the earth that He did not sacrifice? Was there a time that He was not faithful to the commitment He had made to His Father and to us? No. He healed thousands, He fed thousands, He counseled thousands, and He taught thousands. If we are to have the same love and the same mind that Jesus had than what does that mean for us? We must sacrifice. We must love not based on how we feel, what we will receive in return, or if it is easy. We must love as Christ did.
We see as Christ agonized in the Garden over what was to come, that if He was not completely committed to the will of His Father, He would have not followed through…but we know that He did. This shows us even with Christ that His level of commitment was higher than His emotions.
So how do we love? Christ is not calling us to die on a cross. He is not asking us to feed thousands with a few small fish and loaves. He is not asking us to teach thousands. What if our commitment to love sacrificially changed the course of one person’s life? Would it be worth the sacrifice? Rather than theorize about it like we did in college, do something about it. Sacrifice in your love. Stay committed. Don’t let the tide of your emotions change the way you treat another. LOVE!