“Love on purpose.”
Often times, we can be guilty of perceiving Love as simply an involuntary and emotional response and not as an intentional choice. This kind of “love”, as a mere feeling, is a cheaper version of the real thing, in that at its core, it’s rooted in, “What does/can the other person do for me?” Though it FEELS great, it’s built upon a foundation of selfishness.
To love as an action, as in to choose to be loving, especially when the other person “doesn’t deserve it”, or even worse, wishes harm upon you, is Love in its purest form. (Matthew 5:43-48) This is rooted in, “What do/can I do for the other person?” This can sometimes FEEL horrible, but is built upon a foundation of selflessness.
Reactionary Love may be a great start to a relationship, but only Active Love can sustain one. You WILL NOT always feel the emotional high of “being in love,” but you can always choose to be loving… NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCE.
My charge is not strictly referring to the romantic love context. One should ALWAYS love on purpose. There isn’t anyone whom one shouldn’t love on purpose. Even if you were to “accidentally love” or “fall in love,” you should still love on purpose.
Remember that Love is patient, kind, and is not envious. It doesn’t boast, nor does it operate out of pride. It isn’t dishonoring to others, nor is it self-seeking. It isn’t easily angered, and doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. Love doesn’t find joy in evil, but celebrates in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
Most significantly, friends, Love never fails.