Will You Let Love Be Your Primary Response?
I read a book last year, recommended by a friend, entitled Love Does, by Bob Goff. It made a huge impact on me because the author lives his life with love being his primary response. Whenever someone is mean to him or treats him poorly he tries to imagine the best scenario as to why they are acting that way. In this manner of living, love has become his primary response.
That has become my prayer ever since I read that book. My prayer is, “Lord, let love be my primary response.” I wish I could say that God has totally answered this prayer above and beyond my wildest imagination. I would be lying if I said it was true. The reason is that this is a partnership prayer. What I mean by that is this: I can pray the prayer, God can do His part in helping me but there is a part that I must play.
I have to want to be loving.
I have to want to change.
I have to let go of every preconceived idea, pre-judgment and critical notion that I have of every person that I come in contact with.
I have to BE loving.
I have to SEE people as being worth the value that God places on them.
I have to BELIEVE that they are worth loving, that they were born to be loved.
I have to HOPE for the best in them.
And that, for me, has not always been easy. I tend to be a critical person. Ouch, that hurt just writing that sentence. But, it’s true and I cannot let love be my primary response if I am not first willing to come face to face with my own critical, judgmental, self-righteous self.
The good news is…..I am willing to come face to face with myself, deal with my junk and allow God to do in me what I cannot do in myself so that love is my primary response.
Jesus gave us a new command as He was preparing to die in our place. His command was that we were to love others as He loves us. His primary response to me has always been love. Therefore, I cannot withhold love from others, as my primary response, because of the grace that has been shown to me.
What would the world look like if we allowed love to be our primary response?
We would not speak unkind words.
We would not abuse or take advantage of anyone.
There would be a harmonious beauty in the world because love is beauty.
There would be unity within the church.
There would not be a needy one among us.
There would be no divorce, no absent parents, no dysfunctional families.
There would be true tolerance as we sought to live together in peace.
I can hear some of your thoughts now. There’s no way that this could happen because we live in a fallen world. If this can’t happen then Jesus came for nothing. If this can’t happen then love fails and sin always wins.
No, my friends, I dare say let’s bring the future into the now. We know that in the future God is going to restore all things, do away with sin and death, and love will reign supreme. Many of us are anxiously awaiting that day. But what about the now? What about today?
Jesus taught us to pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.” Well, if that is to be our prayer, then I believe God wants to answer it. His kingdom is love. So, when I allow love to be my primary response to everyone I meet, then I am bringing His kingdom into the earth.
When you decide to let love be your primary response then you are bringing His kingdom into the earth.
When the Church decides to let love be our primary response then she is bringing His kingdom into the earth.
When God’s children allow love to be their primary response, we will change the world. To borrow Rob Bell’s title, LOVE WINS! Love is what changes people. Love is what melts cold hearts and tears down walls. Why? Because we were born to be loved!
So, will you begin to pray this prayer with me?
“Lord, let love be my PRIMARY response.” I don’t want hatred, anger, a judgemental attitude, criticalness or bitterness to be my primary response. Even on the days that I am having my biggest struggles, I want love to be my primary response.
When you allow love to be your primary response, I promise you will see the world, you will see people, and you will see yourself in a whole different light.
Let love be your primary response.