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// Denise Hagin Burns
THERE IS A LOT of negativity in our world today. People are angry, impatient, and rude. Say one wrong thing and they fly off the handle. Research shows that there's a new phenomenon called "internet anger." They've found that ANGER IS THE MOST VIRAL EMOTION ON SOCIAL MEDIA. If you want to get people riled up, put an angry post on social media and that anger will spread like a fire.
Sadly, many Christians have fallen into the anger trap. They are putting up mean posts and having full-blown arguments on social media and elsewhere. What happened to love?
1 John 4:7–8 (AMP)
7 Beloved, let us [unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God and knows God [through personal experience].
8 The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]
God is love. He originated it and can't be anything but love. It's who He is. AS CHILDREN OF GOD, WE'VE INHERITED OUR HEAVENLY FATHER'S LOVE NATURE. Romans 5:5 (AMP) says, "Such hope [in God's promises] never disappoints us, because God's love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
Love Is a Choice
The Holy Spirit lives in us, and God's love has been abundantly poured into our hearts. GOD ALWAYS RESPONDS IN LOVE, AND IT SHOULD BE SAID THAT WE RESPOND IN LOVE TOO. Our nature is love. We don't have to conjure it up or ask God for it. The moment we are born again, love was placed inside of us. Therefore, we don't have an excuse for not walking in love.
Some may say, "I'm just short tempered. I grew up in an angry family. It's who I am." Love is a choice, and you decide how you respond in any situation. You are who God says you are. God says you are patient and kind and full of His love.
Imitators of God
Scripture tells us to imitate our Heavenly Father. Ephesians 5:1–2 (AMP) says, "Therefore become imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]; and walk continually in love."
Love is empathetic, compassionate, and unselfish. It values people and doesn't criticize and belittle them. WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT HOW WHAT WE SAY OR DO AFFECTS OTHERS.
From reading the Word, it's clear that if we want to have a prosperous life, we need to imitate God. If we're not having the kind of results that we want in life, we need to check our love walk. If we're lonely, have emotional baggage, experience many bad relationships, and nothing ever seems to work out our way, it's time to check our love walk. Maybe the real issue is that we want our way all the time instead of preferring others.
It's Not About Us
Love goes beyond what's only good for our lives. It's not just about us. It's about others. It's about how our lives affect people. Did you ever think that walking in love could open the door to share the Gospel? It can help someone miss hell and make Heaven. It's amazing what a kind word will do.
Here's my challenge to you. Don't be a jerk. MAKE IT YOUR MISSION TO WALK IN LOVE. Not because of what it will do for you. Do it because it pleases your Heavenly Father. Do it for the people in your life that are lost and dying. Shoving Jesus down their throats is not the answer. But loving them will open a door.
Challenge yourself every day to live Ephesians 4:31–32 (NLT): "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."