Love Is A Choice
Mark 12:30-31: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Love is a command. Since love is a command it is not automatic or natural. It is a choice. We usually think of love as a feeling or an attraction or a response to something that is lovely or lovable. Our feelings, attractions and responses are not always by choice. They are automatic, natural or instinctive. This kind of love is often directed toward those that are like us or like we want to be.
There is a different kind of love that we need. We need it to come to us and we need to give it to others. It is unconditional love. It is Agape Love. It is God*s kind of love. It is not just responsive but it is responsible. It takes responsibility for meeting the needs of others. It does that even when they are undeserving of it and when they are unlovely and unlovable.
Romans 5:8: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
We prefer to wait for people to become lovely and lovable BEFORE we love them. We want them to change themselves from unlovely and despicable to lovely and lovable. We forget that God loved us when we were despicable and that only He can take someone that is despicable and make them into someone who is lovable.
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
God wants us to be part of His spiritual order of things. He wants us to love the despicable, pray for them and share the word of God and the love of God with them. The more despicable people are, the more they need that kind of love. People who are lovely and lovable probably have already been made that way by God*s love and power.
People who are naturally attractive but hate are ugly. People who are naturally unattractive but love are beautiful. Love is really the most beautiful thing, more beautiful than physical beauty can ever dream of being. We have all met people who were very attractive to us until we heard them curse, lie or do something selfish or evil. Then they become ugly in our eyes. We have also all met individuals who can be compared to a mud fence. Our first reaction is revulsion. But when we hear them speak loving words or perform loving actions they become beautiful to us.
Galatians 5:22a: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, . . .
For the Holy Spirit that kind of love is automatic. But for us it is a choice. We can accept it or reject it from Him. After we have accepted it we can transmit it to others or cut it off. A lot of people think the fruit of the Spirit is only for them to enjoy. They are selfish and not truly loving. The fruit of the Spirit is love . . . FOR THE UNLOVELY! When we are filled with the Spirit, loving others is what we will be doing. We will then have greater enjoyment because it won*t be the result of selfishness.