Love is costly

In this series, I’m exploring some of the primary misconceptions we believe about love. To watch the free class I did on this, feel free to watch it here!

There is a satisfaction that I feel when I am in a position to bless someone with a gift or even a financial blessing. There is an even greater satisfaction if the person doesn’t know where the gift came from – a game I like to call Jehovah Sneaky!

For me, giving gifts actually comes very easily because it is one of my primary love languages. However, imagine if giving gifts to people was the only way that I expressed love. It would not be a very pleasant environment in my home if the only exchange of love toward my wife or children was through gifts!

We are all wired to give and receive love in different ways and sometimes, the way that we extend love to one another costs us.

What do I mean by that? If I come home from traveling, I might be tired and want to spend time recharging or take myself shopping for some alone time. But I must remember that I am coming home to a family who want to be present and spend time with me and that requires me to be intentional in setting aside my default response and taking time to connect and invest in doing life with them.

Another factor of this misconception that love isn’t costly is the challenge for us to be able to love without a hook or without an agenda.

You might be familiar with a sales assistant coming toward you in a store with a question ‘are you happy browsing?’ or someone offering you a ‘free’ sample in exchange for your time. The reality is that both of these exchanges are connected to a lure or a hook. In a similar way, we can often extend love to people around us with a hook or an agenda. We can find ourselves going out of our way to help someone (an act of love) and then being dissatisfied that they were not more grateful.

I remember hearing story of a lady who baked a beautiful cake for her local church fellowship. She delivered the cake with pride and then observed it being devoured by everyone. Not one person thanked her. The pastor approached her noticing she was looking disturbed and upset and asked her what was wrong. When she mentioned that no-one had extended gratitude to her for bringing a cake, the pastor replied “did you make the cake so that people would thank you or so that they would experience the act of love in you bringing it today?”

Love is not just an act or an isolated action that we partake in. Love is a lifestyle that unfolds from a greater awareness of our identity through a relationship with the source of love: Jesus. Love becomes our primary motivation rather than performance as we walk with the affirmation of the Father. Having had an encounter we now become an encounter.

Our yes to love will cost us everything but without love, we have nothing.

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I like to set myself a challenge each day to place myself in a situation or respond to an invitation to love in such a way that costs me. That might look like paying for someone’s groceries at Walmart, taking the time to pray for someone who I normally would pass by or blessing my server with a tip even if they were rude.

I challenge you to be intentional in a practical way this week. Slow down a little and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in your response. Here is the secret to living without a hook: love first, then ask questions!

PS) Again, this is a series inspired by a recent class I taught on Lies We Believe About Love. Watch it for free for a limited time here!