This is a blog post borrowed from my other blog, “faith, family, & friends”
This past week was a very difficult one for my family—especially my sister and her children. My brother-in-law, who was only 47, died suddenly of a heart complication that was simply a fluke thing. It wasn’t detected in any way. In fact, he had just had a physical a few months before and everything was looking great. A fluke. Something so small took his life and now my sister and her kids have to live without their husband and father for the rest of their lives here on this earth.
Something that I heard my sister say many times throughout the week following this horrible tragedy was this: love well. Love well. What in the world does it mean to love well? How do we do it? The truth of the matter is we never know when we’ll breathe our last breath or when someone close to us will. We never are promised tomorrow, but the thing is, most live like we have all the time in the world. We don’t.
Love well. This statement has made me think a lot about the people God has put into my life. Am I loving well? Am I a good friend? Do I live my life with others in mind or am I in it for me? Do I lay down my life like Christ did to serve and bless those around me? Do I tell the people in my life that they are important? Do I treat others the way I want to be treated? Do I genuinely love others when it’s hard and when the times get tough, or do I retreat because I don’t want to deal with their problems? All of these are questions we need to think about. Maybe we think, “I’ll do that tomorrow..” but the fact is, we don’t know if that will be an option. Not to mention, we normally put it off again and again…but loving well is loving NOW.
The more I get to know Jesus, the more I realize that the only thing on this earth that really matters is God and each other. Period. All these things we’re hoping to accomplish, making more money, getting our kids to school on time, keeping the house clean, going after the things of this world…a better house, a nicer car, a great job, all are for absolutely nothing. They might occupy our time and give us something to do, but are we doing everything we do in the name of love, or for ourselves? Can you honestly say you walked away from that person because it honored God? I’m finally understanding why Jesus said in Matthew 5 that we need to drop everything and go make amends with the person who has something against you. I guess it matters after all what people think, because they matter. Of course we don’t base our entire lives or allow someone else’s actions to determine our peace and joy, but it matters to the heart of God if there is a break in a relationship.
Loving well is seeking reconciliation in all of our relationships. Loving well is forgiving each other, even when we don’t think it’s deserved…after all, we didn’t deserve forgiveness either but Christ died so we could have it. Loving well is being there. It’s being faithful. It’s not letting go of someone when they make a mistake. It’s loving God first, and allowing His great love to penetrate our hearts so we can indeed love others with His love. It’s having compassion and patience with others. It’s giving. It’s serving. It’s holding others when they need to be held. It’s checking in on old friends just to see how they are doing. It’s active. Loving well isn’t sitting around waiting for others to come to you…it’s reaching out and loving them, even if you might be rejected. It’s laying down your life for someone. It’s also allowing others to love you in return, which is exactly what my sister is doing right now. Allowing others to embrace her in her deep time of need—and that’s not always easy.
God said the entire law is summed up in this command: to love God with all of your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. It’s so simple, but definitely not the easiest thing to live out in this life—but it’s our purpose for being here on this earth.
Love well. Simple, profound words with so much depth and meaning coming from a beautiful one who just suffered great loss. Let’s choose to remember these words everyday from now on that we have the gift of life. Choose love.