Have you ever wondered what the greatest power on earth is? You know, the one thing that if you possessed it could completely change the world?
Well, lucky for us we do have that power. That top-secret, superpower that can radically change the lives of those around us.
What might this thing be?
But not in the way you may think.
I won’t get on my soapbox and voice my opinions on how society has degraded what true, genuine love is. However, I will say that love is more than an emotion. Love is built on actions and sacrifices.
And as we continue our war on negativity, love will be one of our most important resources.
In order to use a weapon in war, we must have an understanding of what that weapon is and how to properly wield it. Otherwise, we’re a puny soldier standing on the battlefield with our eyes closed flinging around the sword hoping we somehow hit our enemy.
When in fact, our enemy is sitting back laughing at our efforts.
I don’t know about you, but I’m done with the enemy laughing at me. I am ready to fight back, and I am ready to win.
Let’s get to work …
What is Love?
I always like to say that God is love, as He is the ultimate source. We gain our greatest understanding of love from Him because He first loved us.
But for today’s post, we’re going to focus on 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 as our foundation, which tells us…
- suffers long (aka patience)
- does not envy
- does not parade itself
- is not puffed up
- does not behave rudely
- does not seek its own
- is not provoked
- thinks no evil
- does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth
- bears all things
- believes all things
- hopes all things
- endures all things
- NEVER FAILS
Notice from this verse that love involves action. Love involves sacrifice. Love is a promise whispered from our souls. A promise to care, respect, and uplift another person.
See how powerful this weapon is!
But how do we use this resource? I’m so glad you asked. 😉
Training in Love.
There are two directions in operating this weapon, or resource. Both directions are super important and must be done in the proper order, if not this resource will not be as effective as we would hope.
Many people struggle with self-love. A lot feel guilty for the time they spend on themselves. But this should not be so. Taking time for self-love—investing in your spiritual, physical, and mental well-being—is not selfish.
I’ve learned from experience that when we’re broken, we can’t pour into someone else because the light that had been inside had already leaked out. This then leads to battle fatigue, putting smiles on our faces when inside we’re dead.
Which is exactly how the enemy wants us: broken, weak, and unwilling to fight.
To be proper warriors nourish your spirit first with the outpouring of God’s love. Then once you have that fuel inside, strengthening your muscles, you’re ready to head into battle with victory in mind.
When we focus first on filling our spirits with love, that love will shine outward from within us, putting actions behind the words we speak. Anyone can toss around the phrase “I love you” but those who mean it, show it.
For example, those who love:
- are patient
- not envious
- doesn’t toot their own horn constantly
- aren’t prideful
- aren’t rude
- won’t seek their own gain at the expense of others
- aren’t easily angered
- don’t think evil, hateful, condemning thoughts
- won’t reveal in the pain and darkness of others, but celebrate in the truth and goodness
- will help carry the burdens
- will believe in the impossible dreams
- will hope in any situation
- will weather the storm no matter how dark
- won’t ever give up. “Quit” is not in their dictionary.
Now I get you might be rolling your eyes at me right now. Which is cool. Even I understand how impossible it would be to act out everything I just listed. None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes.
But that’s not what we’re focused on here. We’re looking deeper into the resources we have to fight negativity.
Think of the power we’d have in this war over negativity if we treated ourselves and others the way 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 shows us.
I don’t know about you, but that’s a mic-drop for me.
Wielding in Love
However, there is a trick to make sure that this weapon, or resource, is used effectively.
Are you ready for the quick and simple how-to in this training session?
Show love to EVERYONE.
The neighbor down the street. The dog walker. The mailman. Friends. Family.
What about the guy that just keyed your car? Gotta show love. The chick who cussed you out in the grocery store? Love. The drunk driver who caused the accident that landed you in the hospital? Love.
It is easy to show love to those who are nice and kind to us. It becomes painful to show love to those who are hurtful.
But as I mentioned in the intro post to this series, the battle with negativity is a ferocious one. War is never easy. Yet it’s a battle worth fighting.
Love will be our greatest resource in this fight.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.
Strengthen your sword arm
The key to success in using this resource will be to strengthen your sword arm. No soldier heads into battle without proper training or without first conditioning their bodies.
Who wants to be that puny warrior flinging around their useless sword? No one.
Take the love that God inspires within you and show it to the world, bit by bit, person by person until negativity no longer has its hold on you.
And remember, as I mentioned last week, we are not alone in this fight. There are battle buddies ready to link arms and go to war with us.
We have one more post to go in the series and I hope you’ll join me. Next week we’re going to have a 2-for-1 deal, chatting about fear and perseverance. Yes, fear can be a resource. Be sure to stop in next week to find out how.