How Would the Day Look Different If Your Primary Goal Was to LOVE?

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35

How would your life look different if your primary goal for the day, from the moment your feet hit the ground in the morning, was to truly love others?

Have you ever stopped to think about that?

I sat at my computer pondering the Romans 12 series we had just finished at church, and this question came to mind. I added it to the list for the small group discussion that week. As I finished typing the words onto the page, my pride was impressed by myself. Well. That's a really good question. That should lead to some good discussion and hopefully a change in perspective. At the same time, my selfishness was incredibly glad I was doing childcare and wouldn't have to flesh out said deep question out loud. With a group.

Because let's face it, hiding in your sin is much easier. To sit behind a computer screen and ask the hard questions instead of looking someone in the eye and talking about the deep things of life. Asking the questions is easier then struggling with them and learning to live them. I didn't want to answer the question, because I was afraid of what the answer might be. Of what it would cost.

Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning. 2 John 1:6

What would it look like if your overarching goal for the day was to… truly love others? And getting the kids to school, making lunch, folding laundry, putting gas in the car, going to the grocery store, helping with homework, or spending time with your husband came second to that?

  First LOVE, then TASKS. First PEOPLE, then THINGS.
  • Wake up in the morning. To sleep a little longer or get up on time? Love one another.
  • Go to the bathroom. To change the toilet paper roll or not… Love one another.
  • Head downstairs to get ready for school. Yell and stress or create calmness? Love one another.
  • Drive to school like a crazy person who is running late or a courteous driver? Love one another.
 This list comprises the first hour or so of my day, and most of the time I manage to choose…incorrectly. My priorities are out of whack, my life is out of focus because I have my sights set on the wrong goal.

Love one another.

Love one another, He whispers.

Can you hear it? If you slow down a little, you just might. 


It's a still, small voice. If you listen closely, you'll hear Him whispering. Love one another. Since the beginning of time, He's been whispering the same thing. This is not a new message but one we have all heard before. 

But we don't listen. Sometimes we're so busy we can't hear it. Other times we drown it out with wants and stuff and more stuff. Or maybe we can't listen because we ourselves haven't received any love, so our jars are empty and we have nothing to give. The God who is love made us in His image, and He will fill us to overflowing if we seek Him first. He has not given us an impossible task; He has given us Himself. 

And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 1 John 3:23

I think we make love complicated these days, and that tends to scare off the best of intentions. You can't just bring someone a meal or invite a family over for dinner without the pressure to make it Pinterest-worthy. Or worse, we pass off love as a feeling instead of a conscious choice. Then we can toss it around all we want, as long as we feel like it, and it doesn't require much from us.

We also fall into the trap of making love a means to an end.
  • I'll love them as long as they'll let me fix their "problem."
  • I'll "love them" but make sure they know that Jesus doesn't approve of their lifestyle choices.
  • I'll love them in hopes that they'll change someday.
  • I know I'm commanded to love them, but while my actions say one thing, I'm really judging them in my heart.
  • If I love them, then they will have to do this for me.

Love isn't a show or a feeling or a means to whatever end. We tend to make it messy and complicated, when it's really pretty simple, y'all. It always has been: Believe in the name of Jesus and love one another. If you accomplish nothing else in your entire life, it will have been a resounding success. 

 Simple, yes. Easy?… No. It will cost you. It will hurt. Because by very definition, love is sacrifice. Death to self. Putting others first. True love runs toward when everything in you wants to run away. If you get that feeling where your insides tighten up and you wish you could crawl out of your own skin and you want so badly to run away or explode or plain just reach out and smack someone--that moment is your opportunity to choose. To CHOOSE love. And you won't want to. It will be the last thing on earth you'd like to do.

But that's what love does. It hugs kicking, screaming toddlers. It smiles at the person who sped around you and flicked you off. It's polite to the rude cashier. It's gracious to the elderly woman who's corrected your child for the 5th time when he hasn't really done anything wrong. It's consistent with consequences for that same child, even when it's not convenient. Especially when it's not convenient, or easy, or comfortable. 

How would your life look different if your primary goal, for today, was to truly love others? When you can hear your husband breathing in the dark on the other side of the bed only a couple feet away, but it feels like there's a continent between you. He's tried so hard to reach out and love, and all you've done is pushed him away. And you're going to publish a post about loving others tomorrow. Love reaches out across the ocean, even in the darkness.

Love one another. Not fix, judge, change, condemn, manipulate, use or save them. Just LOVE them. Not to go to the store, make lunch, help with homework, or walk down the street. But to LOVE?

In the answer to that question, my friends, is LIFE.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. Luke 17:33 NLT