Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters (Matt. 6:24). Either you are all in with God and Jesus, or you are still living for your sinful flesh desires. God tells us in the Bible how to know if we are truly followers of Christ. And how can we be sure that we belong to him? By looking within ourselves: are we really trying to do what he wants us to? Someone may say, “I am a Christian; I am on my way to heaven; I belong to Christ.” But if he doesn’t do what Christ tells him to, he is a liar. But those who do what Christ tells them to will learn to love God more and more. That is the way to know whether or not you are a Christian. Anyone who says he is a Christian should live as Christ did. (1 John 2:3-6, TLB)
If you were not taught the path of living your life for Jesus Christ and your loving Father, God, then you will use your imperfect understanding of love by default. Without God's truth and revelation, you will be a frustrated Christian, always trying to do better. Unless you study God's word and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ every day, you will not see or understand how to live in God's agape love. When you love someone with all of your heart, you can't wait to treat them well and to honor and respect them. Jesus died for you and gave you the gift of salvation. However, it is your choice to honor him by your devotion, service, and obedience as you live your life in on earth.
What or who you believe created you determine your value, morals, beliefs, and standards in life. When you believe that you are the result of the big bang theory or you evolved from any other imperfect organism on this earth, where can you find pure unconditional love? How can they teach you about healthy, respectful, and honoring morals, values, beliefs, standards, justice, grace, and unconditional love?
The first step to any change is the awareness that something is not right in the eyes of God; it is disrespectful and dishonoring. In your heart, you know these words or acts would not come from Jesus. Therefore, they must not come from you because Christ lives in you. Many Christ-followers have not been aware of their discriminations or racism until now. However, now that you are aware, you will need to break your learned cycles.
It takes a while to unwrap and understand the complex prisons of our beliefs and brokenness, our unawareness of God’s word, power, and Christ’s love design, and our unawareness of abuse. Unless we know the aspects of Christ’s love design and how the enemy has used our brokenness, we can only make a little better choice. We trade up in each relationship, but we remain in our prison.
This love passage in the Passion Translation gives us a picture of Christ’s perfect love design. He instructs his disciples to give and receive his aspects of love equally. If you want your relationship or marriage to follow Christ’s love design, it has to start with you. You are one half of your relationship. To have a healthy relationship, you must work on yourself first.
Jesus came to earth and lived among us to show us how to live and love like him. He endured the realities of living on this broken earth. Jesus saw crucifixions, governments vying for control, and all the hardships people faced because of these conditions. He showed us it is possible to love others as you love yourself equally when you love God first and foremost. The conditions in the world didn’t change his example of perfect love.
The enemy lives in the dark spaces between the truth of God we know and what we don’t know in his word or how our faith is worked out. Jesus told us that we error because we don’t know the word of God or his power. (Matt 22:29) The problem with not knowing or assuming something opens us up to being deceived. To add to many Christian’s confusion is the fact that we are not shown a clear path to understand what the peace of Jesus is, how it works, what we need to do with Jesus to let it flow.
Christ’s words reveal that we will have visible and invisible storm elements in our lives from time to time. Some storms are expected, and we can see them coming. Other storms just pop up because we live in this broken world.
We can only love others and let them love us from the love design we know. We can only do what we know until we learn and do something different.