Love: an intense feeling of deep affection; used to express affectionate approval for someone.
When asked what the most important commandments were, Jesus said this: to love the Lord, and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.
The greatest commandments both revolve around love. Therefore, we can see that love is an important aspect of the Christian faith.
We can even see this in our basic makeup. Every human being is made with the desire to love and be loved. We all want to be accepted. We were made to be in community.
And we are so good at loving our family and friends and the nice people we come into contact with. But what about the people who’ve hurt you? What about those that are rude and hateful towards you? Are you supposed to love them too? Surely God doesn’t expect that?
But, the answer is that He actually does expect that.
We are called to love all, just as Jesus did. When Jesus was hung on a cross, beaten and near death, He cried out, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Not only did He forgive and love those persecuting Him and killing Him, He asked that God forgive them as well. That’s some crazy love! And guess what? We are supposed to model our lives after Him.
In 2 Corinthians 2:5-11, Paul is addressing the church at Corinth about a matter of forgiving an offender. Although we, as the readers, don’t know what happened, Paul said that the “punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient.” He then challenged the church by saying this:
“Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.”
The church, who had been wronged by this man, was being urged to not only forgive him, but also to comfort him and reaffirm their love for him. That’s a big request!
I mean, think of an instance where you have been wronged. Now imagine following Paul’s instructions. That would be hard wouldn’t it? But that is truly the model we are supposed to follow. These are the steps Jesus would have taken, and those are the steps we are to take.
Now, take notice that the offender faced consequences for his actions. However, afterwards, they were to forgive, comfort, and reaffirm.
And I’m challenging you to do the same today.
Who has wronged you? Who has hurt you? Have you been harboring spiteful feelings towards someone? Have you withheld love from someone?
If so, today is the day to right that and line yourself up with the biblical model of love. Forgive and love today, just as Jesus does.
This is a hefty request, but one you should strive to achieve. Remember, the greatest commandment is love. Let’s share it.
Maddisen Sauls is the smile and voice behind the Everyday Joy blog as well as the author of the Word of the Week posts and the editor of by leaps and bounds. Throughout her life, Maddisen has worked as a reporter for small town newspapers, a School Age and Preschool teacher, and has acquired her ministerial license.
An avid book reader and lover of the written word, Maddisen is passionate about using her favorite medium to reach the lost and the hurting, and to offer encouragement and hope to those struggling through life.
Following her battle with depression, Maddisen has made it her mission to help other people through this journey and to bring joy to the lives of the people around her.
You can find Maddisen on Instagram @maddisen.paige