Scripture Reading: John 15:13-17
One of the last commandments Jesus left was for us to love one another. We are to love others as Jesus loved us. He loved us enough to give His life for us.
We practice sacrificial love when we couple sympathy with compassion, when we give without expecting something in return, when we do for others without keeping score, and when we listen with an attentive ear without criticisms or judgment.
"This is my command: Love each other."(John 15:17)
We are to love one another as Jesus loved us, and He loved us enough to give lay down His life for us. We may not have to die for someone, but there are ways to practice sacrificial love: listening, helping, encouraging, giving. Think of someone in particular who needs this kind of love today. Give all the love you can, and then try to give a little more.
What if we just can't love some people? God will give us the strength to do it. But what if you can't love everybody? What if you can't love the unloveable? What if you can't love the one who hurt you deeply? What if you can't love the person who stood in the way of your getting a promotion? What if you can't love the teacher who kept your child back in third grade? What if you can't love that drunk driver who killed your child? When Jesus said love one another, He meant those people as well.
How do we love one another? We can love one another by first loving God. We can love others through the heart of God. Sometimes it is hard to love one another horizontally. But it is easy to love one another vertically by loving God first, and allowing that love to bounce back down on the one you thought you couldn't love. Love doesn't have to be in a straight line. Love one another through the eyes of God. See in one another what God sees. This method works wonders for forgiveness as well.
During this Lenten season, love as much as you can. Let love flow from your heart to others. After all, Jesus loved you enough to die for you. You might not have to lay down your life for anyone, but you can love them with your whole heart.