The Greatest of These

You’re responsible for the love God has invested in you. You already know that, but sometimes you need to remind yourself. Otherwise, when things get difficult, it’s easy to default to locking love away, especially from anyone you think might drain or misrepresent it.

Much of what separates the fearful, who hold love back, from the brave, who risk investing love in others every day, is in how each views it. The fearful often see love as a reward for performance, a stipend which can be taken away or lost. What little they believe they have gets depleted with each wound, offense, and unfulfilled expectation.

But the courageous know love doesn’t come from what they’ve earned or hidden away in their hearts. Regardless of their circumstances or condition, they know—or keep reminding themselves—their constant source of love is God himself. They know the more they give away, the more he delights to give them greater revelations of his love. They’ve learned the responsibility for love isn’t a burden, it’s an unending blessing they get to live in and give away.

If one of your goals this year is to love more like Jesus, begin by asking him to help you really see his love for you—how unceasingly good, kind, merciful, patient, gentle, healing, transforming, and absolutely joyful it is. Let those revelations overwhelm your fears, heal your wounds, and make you completely confident in who you are and all you’re empowered to give away.

“Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. He will be the foundation of your life, and the source of your love. He will empower you, and all who believe, to experience and grasp more and more the magnitude of that love—how far-reaching, eternal, intimate, and complete it really is” (Ephesians 3:17-18, paraphrase).

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