I encourage you to be loveable for Christ’s sake
We don’t think of it often, yet being loveable is a much needed quality in the Christian life. We all enjoy being loved, however we equally need to express love. Still, it remains a peculiar characteristic of the human heart in that we often do not make it easy for others to love us.
The world often distorts and misrepresents love by promoting physical beauty and sexual allurement as the main component of being loveable, how wrong they are. An equally bizarre twist of humanity is that those who need love the most are often those who reject the people who can best give the love they need.
Imitators of a better love
But not so for Christians. As believers we are to “be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2). God is so lovable because He is so very loving! And the zenith of His love is seen and experienced through the giving of His Son Jesus Christ to be sacrificed in the place of sinful man.
Therefore, as God’s children, we too should be easy to love as we love others Gods way. Just as love is an intrinsic part of God’s nature and language, so selfless love is an inherited and spontaneous part of the Christian’s life. Qualities that best express God’s love are the best qualities for attracting love. By loving others the way God loves, we make it easier for others to reciprocate with love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is possibly the best known Bible passage detailing love’s character. Yet how often do we examine ourselves with a humble and honest attitude with a willingness to change for Christ’s sake. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” (NIV). Emulating God’s love affirms His good, while simultaneously rejecting the useless and bad which cause such great pain in our lives?
Love or Self
I draw your attention to the phrase in 1 Corinthians 13:5; love “is not self-seeking” (NIV), or, love “does not insist on its own way” (ESV). This love is God’s antidote to the destruction caused by selfishness and self-righteousness. It’s also the heart of the gospel, and is one of the many qualities which make the Lord so loveable. When we are characterised by demanding to have our own way, others are repelled and our hearts swell with indignation that refuses to be humbled.
The point is this, the name of God and the reputation of the Church hinges on how others perceive God’s love in us, or not. If we don’t love well, we don’t make it easy for others to love us. At salvation, “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). Therefore, God has equipped us for the mission, and enabled us to do that which does not come natural.
I encourage you as followers of the Lord Jesus; “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5). Therefore, yield to His controlling influence. Christ will be glorified, others will be sweetly blessed, and you will be assured of your security in Christ.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz