To love as Jesus loves can be an impossible challenge. Read with me some of the points in this next principle from the book, Relationship Principles of Jesus by Tom Holladay, and share your thoughts?
Principle # 2 – Love as Jesus loves you
“This is not a do-the-best-you-can challenge; this is a do-more-than-you-possibly-could challenge.”
“If I’m going to love as Jesus loved, I need the power that only Jesus can give.”
“Christianity is not trying harder; Christianity is trusting Jesus.”
“If we only did what we felt like doing, not much would ever get done. Do you think Jesus felt like dying on the cross? Of course not. Jesus didn’t face that morning thinking, “I feel like going to the cross today. I feel like experiencing the most excruciating pain, the most anguished disgrace, the most wrenching burden of mankind’s sin.” In fact, the night before His death, He prayed in Gethsemane, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me.” In Jesus’ prayer we see that He didn’t follow His feelings. Instead, He prayed, “Yet not my will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
“There are moments when not a single fibre of your being feels loving, and yet you act with love anyway. When everything in you says, “Run away”, or “Yell in anger,” and yet you stay and talk, that’s “nevertheless love”.
“Not giving up means you realize that Jesus takes whatever little we give Him, and He does so much more!”
“Don’t give up. Don’t give up on people; the minute you do, they’ll surprise you. Don’t give up on prayer; God is doing so much more through your prayers than you can see. Don’t give up on God’s promises. You have some dreams that are based on God’s promises; don’t give up on those dreams.”
“Rediscover the attitude of love in the everyday habits of your life. If you don’t allow love to become a part of the routine of life, love will be missing from the majority of the minutes in your day.”
“Jesus is often pictured as a transcendental Eastern mystic. Because of His deeper spiritual understanding, He is wrongly though of as being emotionally distant from this world. Yet when you look at Jesus’ life, you see a man filled with emotion. You see his emotion in His tender compassion for a man ravaged by leprosy (Mark 1:40-42). You experience the depth of His feelings in His wrenching distress as He prays in Gethsemane about His impending death on the cross (Mark 14:33). You feel the emotion of gentle love Jesus has for His mother as He speaks to her from the cross (John 19:26-27). Jesus even openly expressed the emotion of anger – though to hear this makes some of us uncomfortable. Anger is an emotion, not a sin. Jesus was angry, but He never sinned.”
“I am spellbound by the intensity of Jesus’ emotions; not a twinge of pity, but heartbroken compassion; not a passing irritation, but terrifying anger; not a silent tear, but groans of anguish; not a weak smile, but ecstatic celebration. Jesus’ emotions are like a mountain river, cascading with clear water. My emotions are more like a muddy foam or feeble trickle. Jesus invites us to come to Him and drink. Whoever is thirsty and believes in Him will have the river of His life flowing out from the innermost being (John 7:37-38). We are not to be merely spellbound by what we see in the emotional Jesus; we are to be unbound by His spirit so that His life becomes our life, His emotions our emotions, to be “transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory.” – G. Walter Hansen
“Jesus did not deny His emotions; He denied Himself by not always bowing to those emotions.”
“To love as Jesus loved, I must act as Jesus acted. Jesus didn’t treat His emotions as an invitation to focus on Himself but as a call to love others.”
“Give your heart priority by acting immediately; take your heart seriously by acting radically.”
“Much of what we call love is actually polite selfishness. We say, “I love you,” but we really mean, “I love you because…” “Because of what you do for me, because you’re pretty, because you’re handsome, because you’re smart, because you’re rich.” Or we really mean, “I love you if…” “If you meet my needs, if you’re not too much trouble.” Or we mean, “I love you when…” “When I’m successful, when I’ve had a good day, when I feel like it.” Jesus calls us to a higher kind of love.
“Choose to fellowship; you can only truly love when spending time with others. We’re at a point where we need to disconnect in order to connect – to disconnect from our media sources in order to connect with people.”
“Choose to forgive; forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to pretend you don’t remember the fact that something happened. Forgiveness means you let it go. You let go of your bitterness and your desire for revenge. The only way you can find the strength to forgive others is to embrace the fact that Jesus has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
“Choose to accept; we accept one another as Jesus accepts us. Unity isn’t found in being the same. Without people around you who are different from you, you’ll never truly grow.”
“Choose to sacrifice; true love sacrifices.”
What does it look like for you to shift from trying to make things happen in your own power to trusting in God’s power for your relationships?