People who know Christ have the Spirit of Christ in them. Listening and heeding that Spirit is a learned thing. Let’s get busy!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:24-25
God is Spirit (John 4:24) and God is love (1 John 4:8). God and Jesus are one (John 10:30) and Jesus is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18). So, when Paul says that Christ’s love compelled them, he was saying that the Spirit in them (1 Corinthians 3:16) was compelling them,
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
How shall we live? As Christ did: Loving God and loving others even when they are unlovable–especially when they are unlovable!
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48
Note: the perfection mentioned here means, “whole, complete, well-rounded.” We would be putting on the “new self that is created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).
- Responding in a loving manner when being attacked verbally is showing godly love;
- Not striking back when physically attacked is showing godly love;
- Refusing to get angry with someone who is confrontational is showing godly love;
- Treating others–even our children and spouses–like we would like to be treated is showing godly love!
I’m sure we could fill the page with examples of showing godly love. The idea is to do it. In order to do it, we must be in touch and in step with the Spirit. He is the One who gives us first the desire and then the power to do His will, which is for us to show godly love. It’s our goal, anyway.
Abba, showing Your love takes great self-restraint and maturity–both of which I have little. May You increase both of them even if it means having opportunities to practice them. I want to be like You, Lord. May it be so. Amen.