“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” (1 Thess. 2:11-12 NIV)
Perspective helps you love well.
Paul is writing to the Thessalonians in today’s verse. He’s reminding them of what they witnessed when he was with them. He worked hard so as not to burden anyone while spreading the message of Jesus. His love for them is that of a good father for his children. Paul understands he is a child of God. Number one, Father of the Year, always goes to God. He has no competition when the topic is loving His children perfectly. As Paul mimics Christ, he understands this more and more. As a result, he begins to view people as God’s children, his brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul’s perspective changed; when it did, he loved best.
Perspective propels us to love.
When we start viewing the world through the eyes of Jesus, perspective changes. We notice the beggar on the street, as well as the rich man in the car. Understanding the depth of God’s love for each of us helps us understand His love for the world. Everyone matters to God, no matter what color the skin. He made us unique for a reason; we’re to embrace each other’s uniqueness. As Jesus pours His love into our lives, we can’t help but let it overflow to those around us.
Jesus is the source of the best love. Once perspective shifts, hearts soften. Instead of seeing the outside, Jesus looks deeper. As we look through His lens, we begin to see the heart as well. We witness the sadness that overwhelms people amid suffering. We watch the celebration when life change occurs in people from within. Intention is more important than action. People bumble all the time when they try to love like Jesus. The reason for this reality is simple; they aren’t Jesus.
Part of loving people best is forgiving them most. When people hurt you, sometimes the best act of love you can do is forgive. At other times, tough love is best. Loving others doesn’t have a formula that works with everyone. People are different, love them accordingly.
“Five Love Languages” is a popular book about love. Each of us receives love differently. Discovering how individuals interpret love helps you to love them then well. For instance, one of my husband’s love languages is physical touch. He loves to hold my hand when we’re watching T.V. One of my is quality time; when people spend time with me, I feel love. We’re uniques creations, each receiving love differently.
To love best, love through the eyes of Jesus.
Question of the Day:
Who do you need to see through Jesus’s eyes today?
Further Reading: Jeremiah 14:11-16:15 NIV, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-3:13 NIV, Psalm 80 NIV, Proverbs 25:1-5 NIV