A vast majority of Christians, myself included, are quick to talk about how similar we are to God. It easily rolls off our tongues when we want to justify some of our actions and want them to be accepted…. then we say “Judge not lest ye be judged.” We are quick to talk about the grace of God when we know that there are times when all we are doing is taking advantage of that same grace. Oh, and my personal favorite, and trust me, this is the one we get hung up on quite a lot, “As He is, so am I in the world.”
You see, it’s great to study the Bible and see ourselves the way God intended us to be. There is nothing wrong in saying those things in the above paragraph. All I’m trying to do with the post, and I do hope I’m successful, is to get you to have the right perspective while searching through the scriptures. Paul wrote that the Bible is given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and it’s best to study the Bible with the help of the Holy Spirit. 2 Timothy 3:16 (MSG):
Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another- showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. Through the Word, we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.
Now, let’s talk about one of the core reasons we are Christians and how we are meant to light up our world. We can do nothing as Christians if the purpose is not formed from a place of love. You can feign generosity, kindness and all the best behaviors you can think of, but it goes nowhere with God if you have no love. This is just to remind you that God really is interested in what you do—He says that He searches the deep things of your heart. So, in order to move the heart of God and stir Him in your favor, you should be like Him since after all, He is love.
Yaaaay!!! I’m excited already. That brings us to the nitty gritty of this post. This is called “The Love Test.” I hope you are familiar with the love chapter in the Bible, if you are not, I would encourage you to read that chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, because this test was inspired by the chapter. I thought about the different ways to get this test done– should I have you score yourself on a scale of 1-5 or should I ask that you write out the ones you think you are good at and then the ones you think you need to work on, but I decided to go against either. I will leave it to you to decide how you would like to proceed. I would however appreciate if you could share your experience with me.
Before you begin this test, I encourage you to search your heart. Are you a truly loving person? How much of yourself do you give to those around you that you truly love? I know yours might not be like Jesus who actually gave His life for those He loves, but I want you to think about all the people in your life that you love while taking the test and base your answers on them (try to be as genuine as possible). I hope with this test, you have a better relationship with God and understand the depth of His love. Okay okay, enough of my talk, let’s get to it.
- Love is patient, love is kind. Have you ever been impatient with those you love and have they ever done something that has caused you to be unkind to them? Hmmm, here’s one, have you ever had an unkind thought towards them in all the years you’ve known them?
- Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. In all the years you’ve known them, have you ever been jealous of them or wished you had what they had? Did you ever have a momentary slip when you kind of sort of bragged about your success to them?
- Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made easily angered. Can you truly say there has never been a time when you’ve spoken rudely to them? Or require them to do things that you clearly know is not convenient for them but benefits you? Arrrghhh, I love this one- do they ever do things that just irks you and makes you want to jump at them? Or do you remind them of the things they’ve done to hurt you in the past?
- Love is never happy when others do wrong, but is always happy with the truth. Are there times when you should have stood up for something but decided to be quiet just to keep “peace”? What about the times when you told a little white lie to spare those you love their feelings?
- Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits. Have you ever given up on anyone you love? Have they ever done anything to lose your trust- like the level of respect just goes a little bit down because they did something to disappoint you?
- Love will never end. Can you think of one person you love right now and say, irrespective of what we might be going through, or what you might ever do, my love for you will never end?
Whoa! Just going through the test again, I’m beginning to question how much of a lover I really am. Yet, this and much more is how God loves us. The point of this test is not to condemn you, all I want to achieve with the test is to assure you of how much God loves you and also let you know, you could always do better. I already identified the areas where I need to be more loving. Now I know I asked you to take the test with those you love in mind, but as children of God, our love should not be limited to those around us alone. Just a question for you- are you willing to truly love a stranger you’ve just met this same way? I think it is possible, I hope you agree with me.
With much love,