How to have Love {Fruits of the Spirit}

I once had a friend deemed a hippy for wanting to "love everyone, no matter what church they went to".  This, to me, and many others, was a strong indicator that something was wrong in the organization, which happened to be a church.  If "loving everyone" was deemed hippy behavior here, there was a serious issue.

The bible tells us clearly, our number one job is to love God and each other.  How can any fault be found in doing just that?

We are told "they will know us by our love".  Our reputations, far and wide, with friends or in our community {whether online or in real life} will be founded on how well we love.  Do we serve one another? Do we just say yes to helping and figure it out later? Are we available to the people in our circles in our community? Or.  Do we act as though we are better than others? Do we ignore people we don't agree with in public? Do our actions profess unity or do we just do lip service? Do we talk badly about people and are shocked when our reputation in the community is not a favorable one?

Are we loving our neighbor {Mark 12:31} or are we a clanging gong? {1 Cor 13:1}

Love is a choice and it is dependant on one person, ourselves. 

Our instruction is clearly to just love.  There are no conditions given.  In fact, we are told we will face hard times because of our pursuit to be like Jesus, who wanted to "love everyone, no matter what church they went to".

Yes, love is a choice, but maybe not always an easy or natural one.  We may find it difficult to love those who are spitting venom at us but there are some ways to get into the habit a little easier.

--Do not be swayed by "public" opinion.  You will have a much easier time choosing to love if you don't care what people think of you, good or bad.  Don't depend on praise or criticism to set your mood.   Aim to live without caring, love grows naturally here.

--Do everything as for the Lord.  Each and every person on this planet belongs to Him.  They are each His child that He LOVES, regardless of their behavior.  If you having a difficult time loving someone, just imagine them as Jesus and act accordingly.     

--Accept that love always looks different.  Much like with our children, sometimes the most loving thing we can do is just step back and let someone figure things out.  Rescuing, while it seems the most helpful, can often be the most hurtful thing we can do.  Sometimes love can be done from afar.

--Sometimes love is just a prayer.  Sometimes we will come across people who are so difficult, so hurtful and ugly that all we can do is eek out a prayer, albeit a short, one sentence one.  Do what you can.  Fake it until you make it does work here. 

Ultimately, choosing to be loving serves us the most.  Always choosing love helps the other fruit to grow.  If we know we are being loving that encourages peace and joy and hope and all of the other fruit we hope to harvest. 

Choosing love means fewer regrets, fewer mistakes and a better use of your time.

Don't we all want a less complicated life? Love is the most simple way to achieve that!

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