Theology Thursday: Love as a Lifestyle

Woman holds out a cutout in the shape of a red heart

It is easy to claim to be a loving person, but it is not easy to put love into action, especially if you feel that you have been wronged. However, hate is easy to implement as evidenced by all the wars throughout history, or simply by turning on the news and hearing about people being harmed and lives being destroyed. Nevertheless, God has not called His people to hate but to love.

“A new commandment I give to you that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” — John 13:34-35

Jesus did not give us a choice or make love optional. Jesus emphasized the importance of love when he said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

The Golden Rule

Jesus gave us a commandment to love each other and then told us that if we love him, we will keep his commandments. Our proof of being a Christian is loving each other, which proves that we truly follow Jesus. It is easy to say that we are a loving person but are often challenged to implement love in our daily lives. Perhaps the best way to begin to live in love is to take baby steps in small ways with everyone you meet.

Jesus also told us how to put love into action when he said: 

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”  Matthew 7:12

When this verse known as the “Golden Rule” is put into action, we are kind to everyone we meet, we treat everyone with dignity and respect, and we do not do anything to harm another person in any way. It is also important to realize that it does not matter how they treat us — we are still to treat them in love.

Love in Action

One day a man named Charles Carl Roberts IV shot and killed eight Amish girls who were six to 13 years old in a one-room schoolhouse in Nickle Mines, Pennsylvania. Anyone would be angry and struggle with hate. However, this Amish community instead chose to forgive the young man and even donated money to his widow and three young children.

The Amish community of Nickle Mines decided to respond with love and forgiveness. It was not easy for this community to respond this way, and it is not easy for us to respond with love when someone does us wrong.

The only question is this: Are you a disciple of Jesus? 

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.