Love Appropriately

Philippians 1:9-10 — 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ (NIV).

It’s God’s desire for our love to abound more and more. He wants our love to flourish and be plentiful, but it’s our job to cultivate it. Many people want God to work in their lives, but they’re unwilling to do any of the work themselves. These verses tell us how to grow our love.

Look at how another version translates these verses: So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush (MSG). Has your love for God or others grown stagnant? One of the major reasons love becomes ineffective is because people try to love, but they don’t do so properly.

The Bible teaches in order to love appropriately we have to use our heads and test our feelings. True love is not an emotion. Hearts are broken and relationships crumble every day because people love based on how they feel. The character Marty in the movie Dan in Real Life said, “Love is not a feeling; it’s an ability.” God gives us the ability to love appropriately.

Loving someone is a decision you make, and you have to use discernment in order to love sincerely and intelligently. So much time and energy is wasted because people love from their hearts without using their heads.

Don’t be misguided when it comes to who and how you love. God wants us to love purely and effectively. Ask Him for discernment today. Don’t allow your emotions to lead you. I pray your love will abound more and more. Hallelujah!

1 Thessalonians 3:12 — May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else (NIV).

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