– Ravi Zacharias
Devotional: 5 Reasons Why You Should Love Regardless of How You Feel
If you’ve read your Bible, you realize that love is not just about feeling great. In fact, love is not about the moment or about a feeling you look for. It’s not even a state you want to capture. It goes beyond that. Sure, love feels great, but it goes beyond the feeling.
If you read the Bible very carefully, there are many levels to love and the love God wants people to express is his love, the highest form of love. This is why Ravi Zacharias’ quote is so powerful because God commands us to love, and it’s almost impossible if we’re going to love out of our own human capacity. Our love will always be a cheap counterfeit compared to God’s love. After all, God is love.
Here are five reasons why you should love regardless of how you feel:
God loved you first
From the beginning, God loved you so much that he already dedicated his only son to die so you can be reconciled with him. Even when God knows that human beings will be sinful and would hate him, he still chose to love us first.
That’s how much love God has for us, and realizing this should enable us to express love regardless of our feelings and regardless of whether we feel it would be returned. Because if you tap into this unlimited and powerful kind of love, you’d realize that it’s a kind of love that doesn’t ask for anything back. It’s a love that keeps giving and giving and giving. This kind of love goes beyond feeling. It’s relentless.
To receive mercy, you have to show mercy
Let’s face it. We are all sinners. We are all fallen, and according to the Book of James, if you violate one of God’s commands, it’s just as if you violated all of them. Based on all these measurements, nobody measure up. Nobody can meet the standard that God sets for us.
This is why we need to ask for mercy. With this great mercy shown by God, how can we not show mercy to others? The best way to show mercy of course is to love them. In this context, love is not just a feeling. It is bound closely to your salvation.
You get an opportunity to show God you love him
God is always watching you. It’s like having a close circuit TV that never goes out and follows you everywhere. God sees the real you. Not what other people think about you, or the show that you put on, but the real you. In other words, God sees right into your heart.
The Bible is clear: If you say you have faith, then you have to show that faith, and if you say you have love for God, then you have to show that love for him. Jesus was clear on how we can show our love for Jesus: by caring for those who can’t care for themselves, by visiting those who are in jail, who are in the hospital, feeding the hungry. As Jesus said, “When you care for the least of these, you care for me.”
You get to reflect God’s love
The reality as mentioned earlier is that if we were going to rely on our own human love, we’re going to fail. Human love is selfish and asks for something in return. Human love doesn’t withstand the test of time.
To view love as a command that you can reliably follow, you have to tap into the truth that if once you accept God into your life, he is showering his love into your life. He is pouring his love into your heart.
Give yourself permission to reflect some of that love to others. When you’re able to do that, then love is no longer something that you do because you feel like it. Love is no longer something that you do because it makes you feel good or there’s something positive you get in return. Instead, it comes abundantly and it comes freely because it doesn’t come from you. It comes from God.
You tap into God’s essence
By showing love to others, you’re basically tapping into the power core of God. God is who he is because he is unlimited. The reason for this is because he is real love. Principled love is by definition unlimited, relentless, and cannot be bound.
By abiding in Jesus Christ, you can tap into this unlimited power, and you are able to show love and kindness regardless of how you feel and regardless of the circumstances. You’re able to give and give without being impatient and without asking for anything in return.