“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
– John 13:35
Today I’d like to discuss the importance of the will to love. Not the will to live but the will to love. George Saunders, a famous essayist, was invited to give a graduation speech at Syracuse University. In his remarks he said millions of these kinds of speeches have been given. He said usually an “old guy” like him imparts wisdom, life’s lessons, and tells the graduates that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to. It’s good to hear these things, but he said the best question to ask an old guy is: “What is your greatest regret in life?”
He first shared what he doesn’t regret, which is every horrible job he had or every time he was poor and did not have food to eat. That builds character. He then shared his regrets: The times in life when he failed to be kind. He told a story about a girl from his seventh-grade class. She was a wallflower, somewhat awkward, and had no friends. In addition to being teased, she was bullied. She moved away one day and he never saw her again. He didn’t pick on her or call her names, yet he regretted not going out of his way to say something nice to her, become her friend, or ask her how she’s doing.
Friend, perhaps you have regrets like this too, where you failed to extend the love of God to someone in need. Not that it was an intentional disregard, but you realize others could have used your help. We can always make time to give a hug, a kind and encouraging word, or just sit with someone and put our arms around them. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can exercise our will to love others.
Father, help me to make time to show others your love and kindness.
What kind or encouraging words have you spoken to someone recently?
If you’re unable to attend your local church or need some additional weekly inspiration, be sure to tune into Hour of Power every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. PT on TBN or watch online at hourofpower.org/episode.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NIV
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.