I’ve learned a lot in my classes here at MNU. However, I think I’ve learned even more outside of the classroom. Between countless chapel services, small groups, and the communal living at MNU, God has taught me more than I ever thought possible. One thing God has taught me these past few weeks is what it means to love someone.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, love is “a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person.”
While I partly agree with that definition, I think it’s much more than that. While having breakfast with my wise friend JD Andrews this week, she explained to me how she views love as a choice. At first, I wasn’t sure if I completely agreed with her, but the more she talked about her decision to love people, it came together in my mind.
John 13:34 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.”
So, what if we don’t feel a “strong or constant affection” for someone? Well, Jesus still wants us to love them the way He loves us. That’s why we have to choose to love some people.
I’m extremely grateful that Jesus calls us to love people with more than just our feelings. It’s pretty scary how quickly and drastically emotions can change in a split second. One day you may want to hang out with your best friend all the time, and then the next day you find that everything she does annoys you. One day you may be attracted to someone, and then the next day maybe you aren’t for whatever reason. Love has to be more than feelings and attractions because those things aren’t always reliable. We are not called to act on our feelings toward someone; we’re called to act in obedience to the commandment to “love one another.”
I don’t know all there is to know about this whole “love” thing (and I never will), but I do know one thing…
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Wow. That sounds like a lot more than a feeling or an attraction.
As I continue life here at MNU, I pray daily that Jesus will help me choose to love people like He does. When we love people with a love like that, we can start to better understand the unconditional love that Jesus has for us.
So, there you have it… one of the many lessons that Jesus has been teaching me during my time at MNU. I can’t wait to share more with you in the weeks to come! Now go love some people!