Love one another. It's such a simple phrase, and yet it's so complicated to actually do. Friend, sometimes love is just hard. It takes grit, self-sacrifice, and humility. But love covers so much ground that, if you carry it out, everything else falls into place. I think Jesus knew this when He said Love was the greatest commandment. He knew that loving Him and loving our neighbor would be the whole enchilada. Here's what I mean…
Love means listening to another person with empathy.
Love means going out of your own way to do something for another.
Love means walking with someone through sickness or loss.
Love means showing kindness even (and especially) when you don't agree.
Love means not giving up.
Love means rebuilding after a hurricane or fire.
Love goes deeper than words, but it includes words.
Love keeps loving the person who is devastating their life with drugs.
Love lets people in; it isn't afraid to be vulnerable.
Love goes the extra mile, yet it knows when a person needs to carry their own weight.
Love draws boundaries and isn't a doormat.
Love burns the record of wrongs. It chooses forgiveness.
Love is not rude.
Love is not lust.
Love is not tolerance. It's much bigger, better, broader, and deeper.
Love is not at the expense of someone else's dignity or worth.
Love is the very core need of every human being.
And sometimes love is just taking out the garbage, setting the table, or ordering the pizza. It can be that practical.
We thrive on love. A couple years ago I really felt the Lord say to me, "Everything and everybody grows with love." Think about it, if you love a plant, then you'll water it and take care of its needs. What happens? (Well…if you're like me, the plant still dies…but that's not my point.) It will grow!
The places and people you water with love in your life will grow.
There is not a single person in your life right now who would not benefit from more love. I hope this week you'll consider laying aside every agenda and simply choose love. I encourage you to start at home. The people closest to you are often the hardest people to love, and yet the greatest reward and potential lies in those family relationships. It's sometimes easier to love a stranger than to love your spouse or in-laws, or step-child, or whatever. But you know what? Love is always worth it. Begin to choose love in intentional ways, and you'll start to see a response. You'll see growth. And even if that growth or shift is too slow to perceive, love does something to you. It changes you and it always comes with a blessing. Love has a boomerang effect to it. As you give it away, more comes back. That's just how God set it up. This week in Sioux City is "Choose Love Week". If you haven't seen any of Jill or Laura's posts on social media, definitely check that out. Their whole city is lit up with love. If you are interested in bringing the Choose Love Movement to your city, simply reply to this email. We'd be happy to resource you and help you make it happen! We want cities all over to lay aside every agenda and choose love. If you haven't seen the video yet, check it out below. Jill and I wrote this song in June and we've all been working hard to get it recorded and ready for you to enjoy. Let's spark a movement, and spread the love!