"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them upon the tablet of your heart." NIV
What does it mean to love another person? Jesus said in John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this: that he lay down his life for his friends." Christ laid down His life for us because He loves us. He didn't take away our sins because we are lovable people; He did it because He chose to love us. God chooses to love us regardless of our insufficiency and filth. The world tells us that love is a feeling - that we "fall in love," and it's something that we can't control. If this were true, everyone would hate each other. How lovable is the average person? We all have habits and traits that can be annoying to others. If our mother treated us according to the way we treat her, it would be a constant battle, a constant fight. How many times have you snapped at your mother, only to have her continue to make your meals, provide for you, and love you? Mothers are not perfect, but they have a unique ability to unconditionally love their children. Do you think that you were, as a child, always easy to love and wonderful to be around? Of course not. But your mother did not give up hope. She loved you and nurtured you despite your disobedience. God handles us in the same manner.
Proverbs 3:11 says, "My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline, and do not resent His rebuke; because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in."
Our parents, contrary to popular belief, do not enjoy punishing us. They don't like to see us in pain. Still, they punish us so that we will know how to cope with future difficulties. They discipline us so that we will realize that the world does not revolve around us. If our parents, as created human beings, love us in that way, how much more do you think that God - the all-powerful, all knowing, amazing Creator of the universe - loves us? We have a great responsibility to that love. The Word of God is full of verses about loving one another as God has loved us. We can't do that. It is impossible for us, as human beings with all our selfishness and greed, to comprehend (much less carry out) the love displayed by Christ. We can only love each other sincerely through surrender to Christ. It is not merely words that must display our love, but also our thoughts and actions. Our actions show our true selves. What does your true self look like?
Talk to God. Ask Him to show you true love and to give you the guidance to love someone with His love today. It may start in your own home with your brothers or sisters, mom or dad. It may be difficult to do, but your soul is on the line. Give God the glory. Pray continually. Love one another.