In 1997, someone that I love was in the hospital. The relationship is a difficult one at best – I often found myself trying to “fix” and “correct” my loved one, who is a very prickly person. But there in that hospital room, God taught me a lesson.
“Could you bring me some water?” he asked. I took the Bible off my lap and got up to reach for the plastic cup and straw and placed it right under his chin.
My duty as “water girl” completed, I moved to sit down again, but that was when I heard my “tough cookie” relative saying, “You really love me, huh? I never knew you really loved me.”
Can I tell you how God broke me through this experience? For years, I tried to corral this person into better behavior, but I’d failed miserably. Now, the Holy Spirit was speaking to me clearly: Your job is to love him. My job is to change him.
That day, I learned that love can make an eternal difference. I made a conscious decision to choose love above all in this relationship, and I’ve seen greater transformation in my family as a result.
5 Ways Love Makes an Eternal Difference:
1. Love displays the reality of Christ to this doubting world:
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35)
2. Love leads us to live in harmony in this world full of discord:
“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:14).
3. Love brings restoration to the weary in this broken world:
“For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you” (Philemon 1:7).
4. Love leads us to respond with grace and forgiveness to one another in a world full of grudges and fights:
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8).
5. Love helps us stand strong together in faith instead of faltering alone:
“Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling” (I John 2:10).
As we choose to respond with God’s love, our faith is perfected, and we overcome fear (I John 4:18). Let’s continue to love in Jesus’ name. We might just soften a few hard hearts and change our little corner of the world
Lyli Dunbar loves teaching. For 17 years, she mentored teenagers in the Christian school setting, and now she has serves as Associate Director of Curriculum at Trinity International University Florida. Lyli married her Prince Charming in her 40’s and has a heart for encouraging young couples and singles in God’s waiting room. She enjoys road trips with her husband, connecting with women through Bible study, and reading way too many books. Lyli writes about life lessons and faith on her personal blog. You may also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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