Growing up I always looked at the word ‘love’ as an adjective, a descriptive word that I used toward things I thoroughly enjoyed or people I was fond of. And though that was not and is not wrong, love is far more than just a way to describe things.
I love coffee/coffee shops
I love being outdoors
I love going to camp
I love writing and photography
I love mac and cheese
The list goes on…
Love is also a verb.
Love is also an action.
As I have been thinking about what love is and is not, the various ways I see it functioning in my world, I kept thinking of the ever so classic verse, John 3:16. Anyone who grew up in the church can probably say this verse with hand motions and their eyes closed; it’s also the one verse I told myself not to use in this love series because I felt it was just ‘cliché.’
For God so loved the world that He gave his only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
This got me thinking about how I love, specifically others. Those who know me know just how introverted I can be. Groups of people most times bring me some form of anxiety, talking in a group setting is almost unheard of, and if I had the option of staying home in my cozy safe place or going out, 7/10 times I will stay home. I was talking with one of my roommates the other night and was expressing my struggle to be around people right now and she simply said something along the lines of “what are we called to do as believers? Love others and that means stepping outside of yourself and being around people.”
**Disclaimer: having alone time and staying home is not always the wrong choice—it sometimes is the best thing we can do
But When I look at John 3:16 I see that God did not stop at just loving the world, he loved so greatly he GAVE. He didn’t stop at love the adjective; he continued to love the verb and calls us to do the same. Jesus gave sacrificially, love is not just doing the minimal, love goes above and beyond what is expected…not for the great things we do to be seen or heard for our glory, but to bring glory to Love Himself.
I was at a women’s retreat with my church the other week and one of the application questions asked was where is God calling me to say Yes Lord?
And I am asking you the same, where is God asking you to say yes? How can you love your neighbor this week? Maybe it means stepping outside of your comfort zone and speaking up in a group setting or choosing to go be with people versus staying home. Often times that is what it looks like for me right now, but it may be different for you.
If you feel so led, leave us a comment about how God is calling you not let love stop at describing something, but instead letting love become a verb. We’d love to hear from you!
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Until next time,