Day 22 | Totally Devoted
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practise hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
As you go about life on your frontline, you'll be surrounded by those who believe they should honor themselves above others, who are unmoved by the needy, who pick fights and use people to improve their social standing, and who are slowly dissolving in bitterness like a baby tooth in a glass of coke because they can't let go of a grudge. You will know that there are people for whom 'love' means a feeling that comes and goes.
The life, death, and resurrection of Christ have shown us a radically new way to love. To love like Jesus did means putting others first in a myriad of practical and costly ways. It means an extra place at your Christmas table for the rude old guy who lives alone two doors down. It means squashing the urge to address the colleague who's just taken credit for your work with a public put-down instead of a private meeting. It means refusing to get drawn into the gossip at the school gate and drawing close to your depressed friend at the risk of being dragged down yourself.
We have been sincerely loved, so we've got this. Let's do it.
Thank you, Jesus, for showing me the true meaning of love. Thank you for every moment you love me extravagantly and without condition. I'm still learning and I still find it hard to love as you do. Give me your love for others.