Paula Kerr, Guest Writer
Yes, love can be painful. We all know this. True love hurts. But love is a choice despite what life has taught us. We are to choose to love and forgive whether or not we feel like it. We should not love just because others love us, but choose to love even others don’t (or won’t) love us. Love that is never tried or tested is not real love.
My family and I recently watched the movie, Grace Card. We were blown away, to say the least, with the intense message about love and forgiveness. The film portrayed Mac, a husband, father and civil servant, who chose to hurt simply because he chose to hate! His 5-year-old son was murdered because of another person’s negligence. Who could blame him for being angry?
For 17 years Mac hated those who did him wrong. But he also hated those who tried to love him…his wife and second son and through his pain, he even hated God. He was too busy hurting that he could neither love or be loved. What a sad state to find oneself. At least, so it seemed until God caused someone to give him a Grace Card. It changed everything!
If God made us with a free will to make choices, then why choose to hurt when you can choose to love? Why not have grace instead and forgive?
Perhaps someone has hurt you to the point where you want to sever the relationship you have with him or her. You might find yourself saying, “I’ll never speak with him or her again. I’ll show them.”
Ask yourself this question: If the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, then why can’t I love – and forgive – as Christ loves and has forgiven me?
Love is not a feeling or emotion. Love is a verb. It’s an act of the will…what I will to do…what I choose to do. If love is a verb, then loving others is a constant choice. It’s what you do, not what you feel. If you don’t feel like loving someone, then you need to choose to act the love out and see what happens.
In 1 Corinthians 13, also known as “the LOVE chapter,” we see vivid characteristics of the kind of love God expects us to demonstrate towards others. A love that is characteristic of God Himself; a love that is of a very high status…a love that:
- Is long suffering and kind
- Is not envious
- Is not proud or puffed up
- Does not behave itself unseemly
- Does not seek its own
- Is not easily provoked
- Thinks no evil
- Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth
- Bears all things
- Believes all things
- Hopes all things
- Endures all things!
When you feel like you can’t love (or forgive) others, remember that Jesus chose to love you (with an everlasting love) and wants you to do the same. Love will never let you down. In fact, it’s the greatest act of the will, because it’s what we do, not what we feel. And, because love covers a multitude of faults, choosing to love and be loved, even when we’re hurting will become secondary to our very nature!