“Let love be your highest goal!… – 1 Corinthians 14:1.
”My greatest aim in life is…” The way you finish that statement can tell you a lot about yourself. If your greatest aim in life is to attain wealth, you will likely choose a career that will maximize your earning potential. On the other hand, if you are motivated by having little or no stress, you may simply choose relationships, work, etc., that causes no stress. One thing is sure, however. Whatever the number one aim of your life will influence and impact every area of your life. For those of us who are followers of Jesus, God gives us a simple and direct answer to that question: “Let love be your highest goal!…”
When responding to a question about what Jesus believed to be the greatest commandment, Jesus couldn’t have been any clearer that this is also our greatest purpose in life. Reflecting on Matthew 22:36-40 makes it clear that there is no greater purpose in life than to love the Lord and love others. The command to love God and love people to a higher level than anything else in life. Nothing can be more important. Nothing should ever take its place. Nothing can be a greater purpose in life than to love the Lord and love others.
The Christian journey begins with the recognition that you are unconditionally, irrevocably, and ridiculously loved by God just as you are. Whoever you are, wherever you’ve been, and whatever you’ve done in the course of your life, you are already loved and accepted. No conditions. No qualifications. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. You are a child of God. We are to love like that.
Love is the deliberate act of valuing someone more than you value yourself. Love is the deliberate act of caring for, and listening to others. Love is wanting others to succeed, to be happy and fulfilled. Love is truly seeing, and caring, about another human being’s existence and welfare. It is wanting to be there for someone, to support them and help them grow; to make a difference in someone’s life; to share in and care about someone else’s happiness and struggles other than your own. Even when it’s hard. Even, and especially, when you don’t really want to.
Because when everything in life is transient, love becomes the only thing that endures. Indeed, it is the only thing that can endure life. Because regardless of how successful you are, how well-traveled, well-educated, well-heeled, well-fed; regardless of all your accomplishments and accolades and accomplishments, a life without love, without the love of others, without loving others will always feel empty and you will never be the person God called you to be.
- What does it mean to you when the Bible says to love others?
- What can we do this week to be better at loving others?