Tina Turner sings a song with a chorus that goes like this, “What’s love got to do, got to do with it. What’s love but a sweet old fashioned notion. What’s love got to do, got to do with it. Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken.” I remember when this song came out on the radio and was a big hit. I used to drive down the road singing every word not really thinking about the words to the song. But if you really think about it, love has everything to do with life.
Growing up, my brother and I would do a lot of fighting, I mean a lot of fighting. There were times that we had real knock down drag out fights. Afterward, we would tell each other, “Don’t tell mom or dad.” Neither one of us wanted to get into any trouble and so, we’d keep the fight a secret. Somehow they always knew and we’d get into trouble anyway. Of course we’d get the lecture of how we treat each other and how we should love each other because one day we’d regret the way we treated each other. (They were right by the way, but you didn’t hear that from me.) Today, my brother, the one I had the most fist fights with, and I are close and spend a lot of time together. We actually serve together at church. One of the things that our parents would say to us was, “Jesus tells us to, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do to you’ (Luke 6:31). Is this how you want to be treated? Do you like being punched and hit all the time? Do you want your friends to come up to you and hit you all the time?” Well, of course we didn’t. That would give them the fuel that they needed to tell us that we needed to treat each other better.
In my last post I started talking about the Ten Commandments of Using Social Media. Do you remember no. 1? 1. Put God First in all You Say and Post. Have you been doing that over the past couple of months? I know it’s been a long time since my last post, man I’ve got to do better don’t I? Well, if you can’t tell the topic of this post deals with “Love.”
2. Love Others as You Want to Be Loved
Jesus summarized His instruction on how to treat other people with this rule when a group asked Him how they should respond to their enemies. I’m sure that they weren’t real happy with this answer. I know that there are several of us that aren’t real happy with this answer. How do I know? Because there are times when I want to punch some people in the face. There are times when I just want to write some people off. However, Jesus was raising the bar higher than ever before, this rule rule applies when we interact with others in person as well as online.
When you think about how you like to be loved online, it’s easy to know how to treat others. For starters is the obvious. You can Like someone’s post. You can retweet what they say or reply with a kind word or two. You can offer a sincere and uplifting compliment. You can comment positively on something they said or posted. You can refrain from saying something hurtful to others, being antagonistic, or always ignoring what they do or say. There is a good general rule to follow, I’m not always good at it but I try, try not to post things that are negative and critical. Enough people are doing that. We want what we say and show to be uplifting and encouraging, to build up rather than to tear down. This doesn’t mean to avoid the tough issues, but we can talk about them from a positive perspective, offering solutions rather than poking at people and making others looking bad.
Besides saying nice things and avoiding ugly online interactions, you can find all kinds of ways to love people using technology and social media. You can take the relationship out of the virtual realm by replying in person. Instead of simply posting a comment, you can reply with a call, a handwritten note, or a personal visit. If someone asks for prayer, you can go to their home and pray with them instead of just praying from a distance. If someone loses a job, you can offer to pay a bill while they’re looking for work or help them network to find new job opportunities. And when they get a job, you can go out to dinner with them to celebrate the blessing. You know tons of things that people do for you that help you feel loved. So get creative online and off and love others in the same ways you want to be loved!
I think that we’ve lost the art of loving people the way that Christ would have us love. Especially in person. Let’s get back to loving, reaching out to those around us and see what happens. Who knows maybe someone will love you in a surprising way. When we were in Alaska, we were out for breakfast one morning (a rare occasion) with all the kids, my grandparents, the my 3 brothers, and my parents. We were sitting around the tables talking and having a great time. The plans of the day were being made and we were just taking our time that morning. There was a young couple in the restaurant sitting near us who notice us, how could you miss our large group, actually there weren’t too many in the restaurant that morning. They came over and talked with us a little bit and asked about Ana and some of the other kids that Mom and Dad had at that time. Of course Dad shared the different stories and it touched this couple’s heart. They left the restaurant and we spent a little more time there talking and finally had our fill and were ready to leave for the day and hit the trails. We were planning on hiking that day. My Grandfather asked for the bill so that we could start to make our way out. Our waitress came over to the table and told us that our bill had been taken care of. My Grandfather started to argue with the lady and she said that she was serious. My Grandfather said, “The restaurant was not comping the food. We were going to pay for the meal and that it was okay for us to take care it.” She replied, “Sir, we aren’t comping the food. Believe me we would definitely charge you for the meal. There was a bill and it was taken care of. That young couple took care of your bill. Their comment was that your story touched them so deeply, the love that you show your children and that you showed them, they wanted to do something for you to show just a little bit of love in return.” We sat there in tears that morning and prayed for that couple and thanked the Lord for His rich blessings. That wasn’t the first time on the trip that, that happened.
Just showing His love to others. You never know what might happen and how the Lord may bless you. Love others as you want to be loved.