Devotions

What Love Is: Choosing To Love All Year Long

December 29, 2021
“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14 (NASB1995)
Pinterest Image

I am a sucker for New Year’s resolutions. And every year, I pick my resolutions in threes.

Two have hung around for a long time. I pledge to eat nutritiously and exercise intentionally, more than just taking the garbage to the end of the driveway once a week. For my third resolution, though, I go deeper — beyond working on my outside — and choose something to transform my inside.

Yet reflecting on 2021 and, frankly, all other years, I realize I have missed so much. It’s like life is a movie, and I’m just a prop in the corner, an extra at best, mostly hanging in the back lot. I don’t take enough time for people. Instead, I’m just playing a scripted role with lines that rarely change.

“Hi, how are you?”
“Fine. And you?”
“Fine.”
“Have a good day.”

Why am I asking a question if I don’t want to hear the answer? Maybe it’s because the answer might take too much of my very valuable and extremely limited time. There are things to be done, after all. Emails to return, laundry to wash, errands to run, bills to pay, and if I don’t hit the grocery store on my way home from work, I won’t be eating leafy vegetables for dinner.

But God.

God is love, and God tells us to love one another. In fact, God commands us through Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:14 to “Let all that you do be done in love.” That’s why my big resolution challenge for 2022 is to love — really love.

But how am I loving when I value my personal agenda above people? Surely it’s not love to ignore the person in front of me while thinking of everything ahead of me. When a friend calls, I’m not showing love by saying “uh-huh” as I watch the last few minutes of my favorite TV show. Does love take so little interest?

Real love, the way God loves, cares more about people than tasks … no matter the size of Mount Laundry. Relationships — loving and caring for people — eclipse TV and to-dos all day long.

I’ve overlooked opportunities to connect, to give love, to live love. I’m sure there have been many times when I asked the “how are you?” question, and the person who I am supposed to love wanted or needed me to hear the answer. Maybe she received a tough diagnosis, or he lost his job, or she was going through a hard time in her marriage and needed someone to care and pray, but my face said, Gotta run. No time for you.

What would love do? Love would stick around. Love would want to hear the answer. Then love would really listen.

Undistracted, giving full attention, right there, at that moment — loving the person like God does, not seeing them as an obstacle to my plans. Without thinking about the turmoil of this morning’s carpool or the meeting later tonight — just patiently listening. Fully engaged, no distractions, really hearing, caring, putting feet on love.

Sure, there are deadlines and moments when there really is no time, at least not right then. But later, love sets a time to get back in touch. Love follows up, follows through.

In 2022, let’s choose to love. To listen intently. To live love and show love to the ones we’re with. Let’s ask “how are you?” with our hearts and ears wide open. Because that is what love would do, and I resolve to love. Will you join me?

Lord, open my eyes, heart and ears to live and give love. Please don’t let another opportunity to love pass me by. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

OUR FAVORITE THINGS

There is so much more to learn about love. If you’d like to go deeper, Kim Sorrelle’s book, Love Is: A Yearlong Experiment of Living Out 1 Corinthians 13 Love, is available here.

ENGAGE

Connect with today’s devotion writer, Kim Sorrelle, at her website or on Facebook and Instagram.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of Love Is by Kim Sorrelle. To celebrate this book, Kim’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, January 3, 2022.}

FOR DEEPER STUDY

1 Corinthians 13:13, “… Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” (MSG)

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to loving others? How do you think knowing more about love could change your life? Tell us in the comments.

© 2021 by Kim Sorrelle. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Kregel Publications, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

Click here to view our policy on 3rd party links.


What We Believe

If your life feels too overwhelming, click here for our care and counseling resources.

Join the Conversation

   

"I Can’t Keep Doing This: 5 Reasons Your Boundaries Aren’t Working,"

a free resource from Lysa TerKeurst

download now