Kids are often quick to say I love you and give a hug. But once we become teenagers, love doesn’t always come as easily. At times, it feels as though we are living under a magnifying glass and have to worry about what everyone thinks. And this changes our actions and possibly makes us less loving. But if we are in Christ, there is a better way. 1 John 4:19 tells us, “We love because God first loved us.”
God created each of us, uniquely. It is mind-blowing to think of just that simple fact. God made every person and every thing on this planet unique and different. He has a plan and a purpose for each one of us. To love others well, we have to love God first, love ourselves, and recognize the gifts God gave us are the tools He chose for us to show His love in the world.
When you talk about love, you can’t skip over 1 Corinthians 13:4-5. “Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints.”
Yikes. This is a hard one. But it is also the road map of how God wants us to express His love in the world. Loving my friends is easy. And also, my parents. Loving my sibling, well that can be a struggle sometimes. I need to go to 1 Corinthians 13: 4-5 to remember how God calls us to act.
The Lord calls me to be more patient with my brother. He calls me to show kindness to my little sister. I don’t need to be jealous of them and things they get. I shouldn’t brag when kindness comes my way. I shouldn’t show off, be rude, or try to put myself above others. When I am crabby, I should calm down, and not take my anger out on them. And if they hurt me, I should forgive them, because Christ has already forgiven them, and me.
1 Corinthians 16:14 says, “Everything should be done in love.” Everything. That’s big. So what does that look like to a teen? I am still figuring that out. I think it means I should keep my eyes open. See what is happening around me every day. Be aware of where God wants me to work, and for me to have the courage to do what I think He wants me to do. Be kind to people who are unkind to me. Be courageous and invite new people in, people who aren’t always surrounded by friends. See the people that need to be seen.
The most encouraging thing I read in Scripture was a reminder in Proverbs 10:12. It says, “Hate stirs up conflict, but love covers all offenses.” We should always act in love. Life will have conflict. But what if we all start responding to each other in love, God-type love? Yes, it will take effort and work, but I think the benefits will be amazing.
How do you show God’s love to others? Feel free to comment below.
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