Many people ask questions such as “What is the meaning of life?” and “What is my life’s purpose?”
It is becoming commonplace to hear about many people who have built their lives around satisfying themselves only to realise their dream and to ask- “Is this all there is?”
On the other hand, it is also common to find those people who live with the desire to enrich the lives of others and they always seem to be much more satisfied in life than those in the former category. Interestingly, the fulfilling feeling for the latter is just a by-product.
So Why Love?
“Love is our highest endeavour. Our lives are evaluated by how much or how little we love. Our quality of life and even the number of our days are affected by love. In fact, it is only to the extent that we love well and deeply that we are truly alive”. –John Townsend in Loving People
How we operate (as loving people), and who we love, will make a great difference in the course of our lives. Learning to love others authentically and in ways that matter to them is one of the best things anyone can do. Experiencing and giving love are true signs of human life- that we are here, that God is real, and also, that our lives matter.
Often, the reality is that we don’t know how to treat those we care about in the most loving way. Many of us don’t have a lot of knowledge about how to create and develop love. No matter what your previous experience in loving others is, you can develop the capacity to be a loving person.
Receive Love to Give Love
When I do talks on love, I usually ask the audience a simple question: “Is it possible to give something to someone else that you don’t have yourself?” Everyone in the audience replies no, (although some have to think it through diligently!). And I go on to say that this is a very important principle that should not all of a sudden be forgotten when it applies to loving others. If we agree that as a fact it is impossible to give to someone else what you yourself have not received then is it possible to give others love, when you are not being loved or have never felt loved?
Studies show that children brought up in a very loving environment are much more confident and have the capacity to be more considerate of others. This is because the principle applies. The unfortunate truth is that we human beings let each other down and although we strive to love each other as best as we can, we often also hurt the persons that we love which make it difficult for us to rely totally on another human beings love. As much as they may try, they might let us down.
The One That Loves Constantly
The way God has designed life is that we receive His love which is unconditional and everlasting and from the security of having someone that ALWAYS reliably loves us, it ought to give us the capacity to love others. Now this does not mean that we will be perfect in our love for others. Because loving other people is such a huge calling on all of us (and because the principle of not being able to give what we don’t have applies,) when we run out of the capacity to love others, we go to God to receive His love which in turn gives us the ability to keep on loving others. 1 John 4: 19 simply states “We love because he first loved us.” The Apostle John, the writer of this letter shared the principle that the reason why we are able to love others is because He (God) loved us first. This was demonstrated through Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins, taking away our guilt, shame and the penalty of death!
Is it your life purpose to become a loving person?
If your answer is yes, then make it a matter of priority to get to know the God that can give you the capacity to really love others by first embracing his love.
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10
Is it possible to be a more loving person without receiving love yourself? Share your comments and thoughts below.