When we are being kind to the one we love, what are the chances that we are merely repressed and scared to challenge circumstances and materialize our fear of isolation? When we are being patient and silent and opt to say the good words instead of the bad ones, what are the chances that we just hate changes and that we’d rather live peacefully with those we are not even at peace with? Could it be that we are merely preserving ourselves when we refuse to hurt them and try our best to prove that we are the real deal and always will be? Could it be that we are too scared of a broken relationship in the future that we’d rather have our partner be the antagonist so just in case, we won’t have anything else to think about but move on? When we try to be good to them, is it because we care or are we simply trying to keep them because they fill a void in our lives?
There is a thin line between loving others well and using them to fill an empty space in our souls. I use the phrase “love others well” because I believe we are all capable of loving; some people just don’t know how to do it well. I still fail sometimes yet since I came to know the Lord Jesus, I have learned that loving others is not enough – I should do it well. The love I give to them must be an outflow of God’s love for me. The popular way of loving though is the kind that sucks life out of somebody else, the kind that destroys rather than builds, the kind that kills rather than gives life.
We cannot give what we don’t have. The reason we are failing could be that we are drawing love out of an empty cistern. We have nothing more to give. We seem deprived of love ourselves yet we are disillusioned by the thought that we are heroes or heroines in somebody’s life, and have perhaps been possessed by the notion that our “love” is the drug they need. No pun intended.
To love well is to know what love really is. We could start with it being patient and kind according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. If you believe that it is otherwise, then perhaps this is not the thought you want to hear. When we love people, some may love us back, some may not but if we are to love well, the reciprocation should not be the motivation. We don’t love simply because it is exciting. We don’t love because we feel empty. We don’t love because life is a mess. We love because it is a God-given gift and privilege. We love because it is God’s command and it blesses others. We love for many good reasons and we love especially because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). He has so much love to give and he created our hearts to be capable of receiving it – we just need to open it up.