What will happen when everyone on the face of this earth stops putting in effort into loving one another with the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13? What will happen when one stops learning to love and seeks only his or her own personal interest?
I am certain that nobody would like to live in such a world. I would rather not be alive than stay in a world without a hint of love. Because God is love, to live in a world without love, is to live in a world without God. There would be absolutely no meaning to life.
But I guess the problem we face is not so much the absence of love but misplaced love. It took a failed relationship for me to realize how Jesus felt when I choose to love the things of this world more than Him.
Not long ago, I broke up with my boyfriend. He was very sweet and caring at the start of the relationship. (Yes, I am a hopeless romantic). I always thought that we would eventually get married. I was so caught up with my new relationship that I didn’t give God the love and worship He deserved. (Did I mention that my ex-boyfriend wasn’t a believer when we first dated?) I sacrificed many things just to spend time with him. I compromised my relationship with God by choosing not to go for youth services on Saturdays, justifying my absence with the excuse that I can always go on Sundays.
What happens when we step into a relationship with God?
When we receive Christ, we enter into a relationship with God. The knowledge of having something new always excites us. Our new relationship with God will therefore be at its honeymoon period. When we delight ourselves in God, we experience His pleasure through the blessings He gives us.
What happens when our passion for God subsides and we choose something else over God?
But soon, we start to get bored by the seemingly endless routine of prayers and singing songs. We begin to find something else to entertain ourselves. The new thing will then be our muse. Remember, God is a jealous God. The Bible states that we cannot serve two masters, and God would not delight in double-mindedness. In my case, my second master was my relationship with my boyfriend. I knew God wouldn’t be pleased, but I still submitted to the spirit of rebellion in me and chose to disobey God.
After a few months, the honeymoon period of my relationship ended. My boyfriend stopped pursuing me like how he did at the start of the relationship. He began to spend lesser time with me, using excuses like “babe we need to study”. I found it funny how he had no time to study but he still could go out with his “brudders”. It was obvious that his priorities had changed. He chose to do other things rather than to spend time with me. I was no longer his joy and his comfort. I was no longer part of his plans. When I realized the change not long after, I began to cry and become emotional. His reply was “I think you need to stop thinking too much.” So much for neglecting Jesus because of him.
As tears flowed down my face, thoughts went through my mind. God showed me this is what He would feel when we decide to put other things before Him as priorities, when we do not consider Him in our plans, and when we do not delight in Him. He would feel disappointed, sad, and hurt. (As if the pain of the cross was not enough). Those who love God would want to take up the cross and follow Him. Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15 ESV).
God will not force His way on us. That would be a total contrary to who He is. We are not designed to be robots; He wants us to love Him willingly.
What happens if we repent and turn back to God?
After seeing that getting emotional did not have much of an effect on my boyfriend, I decided it was of no use to weep over someone who does not love or care for me. I ran back to Jesus and hid in Him. If my experience were a parable, I would be the prodigal son who squandered all his father’s inheritance, but eventually realize that home is still better and shamefully return home (Luke 15:11-32).
God loves us so much that He sacrificed Himself. It cost Him excruciating sorrow. It was a sacrifice. It would be ungrateful of us to give Him only our leftovers (be it time, money or talent) when He has given His best.
Be glad that God is a God of many chances, as long as we’re genuine about going back to Him. However, those who continuously neglect God and disobey Him in deliberate defiance will not escape from His wrath. So repent today, and let’s persist in focusing on loving God—the one who has shown us what real and sacrificial love is.
Written By Vernana