One Day at a Time Devotional
As a sixteen year girl, I fell in love. It was an experience I had never encountered before. There were times of infatuation or interest in others, but this new feeling was different. This young man was interesting to me, he was not like all the other guys. He stood out above all others, he had respect for me, he was kind, he was bold, he was diligent, and of course, he was handsome. Two weeks after dating, I fell in love and I knew he would be the one I would marry.
I did marry him (shot gun style, I was holding the shotgun) a year later. Twenty-one years have now passed; I am proud to say that I still love him and I love him more than ever.
In those twenty-one years, life has not always been a fairy tale story. We have had our disagreements and various difficulties, but we were and are determined to remain in love through it all. Often we had two ways of thinking about things. Sometimes he was right, sometimes I was right and sometimes we agreed to disagree. Our love is a work in progress that is under God’s protective hand and guided by His word.
However, marriage is not the only relationship where love should be present. Love is an action that should be exhibited in every relationship we encounter.
Frequently, I have demonstrated my love and care at church, with family, co-workers or other relationships through words of reason. I thought, “Surely, my eloquent speech and kind words will bring them around.” If that did not work, I thought to myself, “Certainly my great knowledge and wisdom will change their minds, I’ll just give them a few statistics, a personal experience and that will turn them around.” Then again, I determined, “I will gain their trust with the amount of faith I have in God and answered prayers” or “I will show them how much I sacrifice for others and explain to them how I can help them also if they only would change.”
Nevertheless, God says in First Corinthians thirteen, that without true and genuine love I have nothing, I am nothing, and He likens my words as background noise, our attempts to help others are not fruitless unless it is done without love. It has been said, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
So, how should we manifest our love for others? Simple, by demonstrating God’s word as given to us in I Corinthians 13:4-7, “4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
Ask yourself these questions when you are trying to work on a relationship in your life:
- Am I expressing patience and am I willing to suffer as I wait?
- Am I being kind?
- Am I envious of this person?
- Am I lifting myself above this person?
- Am I prideful towards them?
- Am I behaving myself in an inappropriate manner that would cause distrust?
- Am I trying to get something out of this relationship for myself?
- Am I easily upset or angered in this relationship?
- Do I think and assume the worse about this person(s)?
- Am I happy when this person falls into sin or do I rejoice when they are doing right?
- Am I willing to hope for change, believe change will come and endure until change happens in this person’s life?
The answers you give to the above questions reveal either a heart of love or the lack of it. Did you know that you cannot force others to meet your expectations or to love you? True love never fails and true love only comes from God. It takes patience and it takes time. The person you are trying to reach may not change right away, but continue to love them the way God would have you to, God will answer your prayers. Seek God’s help and strength to love and be the example of love He would have you to be in every relationship on a daily basis.
“ A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34
& One Day at a Time Devotional,
a ministry of Riverview Baptist Church