Love is not a convenience! It can be hard and, at times, must go far beyond “feeling”.

Jesus said, “I’m giving you a new commandment: Love each other in the same way that I have loved you” (John 13:34 God’s Word © ).

Cross John 3_16No one can order a feeling. Emotions simply are too liquid to be held to that solid demand. So the first thing we have to get through our head is that love, heavenly love, the love Jesus practiced and demands of ALL followers, cannot be measured by feeling, justification, explanation or the most horrid of all hateful expressions, “I did it for your own good.”

Love is a conscious choice. That choice will sometimes (often?) go in the completely opposite direction of our emotions. Our emotions scream revenge, hate, condemnation, judgment, pain, agony, betrayal.

But Jesus-style love means to act justly with humility (God’s “will must be done, not mine” [Luke 22:42b God’s Word ©]), with respect for those around me (“Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves” [Philippians 2:3 God’s Word ©]), whatever that costs (“[Jesus] said to all of them, ‘Those who want to come with me must say no to the things they want, pick up their crosses every day, and follow me’ ” [Luke 9:23 God’s Word ©]), without figuring the economics (What do I get in return? “If you lend anything to those from whom you expect to get something back, do you deserve any thanks fUNLOVEBLor that? Sinners also lend to sinners to get back what they lend. Rather, love your enemies, help them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back” [Luke 6:34-35a God’s Word ©]).

Love, then, is not the affection we feel for those we like, nor is it a comfort we feel when with people who are like us, nor is it a passion for a thing or an event.

Love is when we get out of the way and let Jesus send signals of divine compassion to those we find repugnant. Love arises to view only when we consciously admit we are not god-like and cannot be of generous spirit like God, and so we obey Jesus despite the extreme inconvenience of heavenly love on our ego, and act generously in a situation where humans would act with disdain or violence of thought or action.

We don’t just feed our feelings. We obey Jesus, whether we feel like it or not.

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