Practice Love

17 08 2011

There was a time, a long time ago, when I wanted to be a tennis star. I dreamed about it as I hit those little yellow balls against the brick wall of the school. I imagined smashes, cheering crowds, aces whizzing over the net, and opponents who were stunned by my killer backhand.

I played tennis, watched tennis, followed the goings and comings of tennis stars, and submitted to practicing and following the directions of a coach. Nobody from Wimbledon or the U.S. Open ever called to invite me to play, but for that time in my life, tennis shaped who I was.

The German writer Goethe once said, “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.” Love is powerful. It drives our focus, sets our direction, fuels our passion, and gives us purpose. What we choose to love will profoundly shape who we are. Jesus said it this way. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21

Our world wants to treat love like a magical force against which we are helpless. We talk about falling in love in the same way that we describe tripping over a crack in the sidewalk. It takes you by surprise and leaves you with bumps and bruises. The world is wrong. Love is a choice. It is a decision to set the heart on a specific path. Love requires more discipline, self-control, and integrity than anything else in which we can choose to invest ourselves. It also brings more joy, delight, and fulfillment. That is why love is at the core of who God is.

Becoming like Jesus is the decision to be shaped and transformed by Love. When we surrender to the full force of God’s love, He begins to change us at the deepest level. Our eyes see differently. Our ears hear the soft whisper of His voice. Our mouths seek to deliberately use words to gently point others to Christ. Our hands and feet are given to Him as instruments of love.

My Jesus Resolution today is to practice love. I want His love to define me, mold me, shape me, renew me, and transform me. I want to be careful about where I set my heart. Loving anything but Love itself will leave me empty and unsatisfied. When I listen to the world describe love, I am going to pass its words through the filter of I Corinthians 13:4-7. If the love they describe is anything less, I am going to let it pass me by. In tennis, you practice so you don’t get stuck at love – the lowest score in the game. With Jesus, love is the best thing there is.


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One response

17 08 2011
Lawana Perrault

Great thoughts. We should dwell on love continually, since God is love and is merciful. It feels good to love (agape).

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