Have you ever felt like you just cannot connect with that special person in your life no matter how hard you try? You love them, and they love you, but for some reason, the relationship is just not going well? Love is a profound word to some. I have oftentimes heard from people that it is not easy for them to say those three words “I love you” because it brings a different intensity into the otherwise under defined relationship. Life is to be enjoyed, Love is a natural wonderful feeling but it is so powerful that it can also cause pain. I sometimes feel love is something that we have told ourselves we need to do through some romanticized lens. Perhaps this is our coping mechanism to deal with the kind of pain it inflicts.
Therefore, it is no secret that at the very core of our humanity we thrive off human contact and companionship. Unfortunately, love hurts when there is no right foundation when trust is betrayed when there is no respect, no empathy, and when love is lost. It hurts us because we are human beings and nothing can ever prepare us for this feeling because it just comes out naturally even without inviting it. Love creates an overwhelming feeling that envelopes us and makes us very protective of the love we have. It hurts because we do not stop thinking of ways to keep the love burning, to keep it safe. It is even more devastating when efforts prove to become futile when the love you give is not reciprocated.
Let us look at how the Bible describes love. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. This is God’s description of love, and because God is love, He is the very essence of love 1 John 4:8, this is what He is like.
There was an occasion when Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” John 21:15–17. As Jesus questions, Peter about His love for Him, each time Peter answers in the affirmative, Jesus follows up with the command for Peter to feed His sheep. His meaning is that, if Peter truly loves his Master, he is to shepherd and care for those who belong to Christ. When Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” in John 21:15–16, He used the Greek word agape, which refers to unconditional love. Both times, Peter responded with “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you,” however, Peter used the Greek word phileo, which refers to a brotherly or friendship type of love. Jesus must have felt a little saddened the Peter was not reciprocating in kind.
What about us are we much different from Peter in that we say we love the Lord, and yet how can we love Jesus who we are not able to see or touch when we are unable to love one another who we see every day? How can we love Jesus when we struggle to feed His sheep, when so many of us are unable to show love for people, His people living alongside us in our own homes, on our jobs, in our schools, in our communities we want to love them based on how we feel not how we have been commanded. We have so many prejudices that plague our lives that prevent us from experiencing the type of love Jesus is trying to get Peter to realize. Sometimes we don’t even love ourselves, it seems we have a long way to go in following Jesus. He tells Peter “if” you love Me Feed My Sheep”. When you genuinely love you want to do something for the person you love and they want to do something for you. What do you want to do for someone, what are you willing to do for Jesus.
Many people have wondered if Jesus really loves them. The Bible is clear that no matter what we have done, Jesus does love us. In fact, He promises to both forgive us of every wrong we have done and provide us eternal life if only we will believe in Him: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16. Do you love the Lord, if so what are you willing to do for Him?