Last week we looked at gratitude as a mindset that brings peace and guards our hearts and minds (see the post here). I wrote about gratitude last week in anticipation of the celebration of the American Thanksgiving holiday which we celebrate on Thursday. Thanksgiving is a holiday of gathering and celebrating friends and family. It is a holiday of relationships.
However, there are those among us who approach this holiday with anxiety and trepidation at the thought of gathering with family members who challenge their well-being. Sometimes family members take advantage of the unconditional love that is assumed and say things that hurt. Other times we come face to face with the fact that our friends may know who God created us to be better than our family. Feeling lonely in the midst of a family celebration is tough. How do you navigate such a gathering? Adopt the mindset of love.
The apostle John tells us in 1 John 4:8 thatLove is not a characteristic of our Lord. He personifies love. We are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) which means that we too can become love and exude it to those who surround us.
Later in the chapter, John writes,(1 John 4:19). You may not feel like you can love that person who has insulted you or the one who doesn’t seem to care about you or your life. But you can. Take the time to prepare and adopt the love mindset.
Schedule and spend time with the Lord and His word. Bask in the love of the One who created you. Fill your “love bank” with time spent with the One who calls you friend (John 15:15). Protect your heart and mind with the peace that God pours out when you bring your petitions with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6–7).
Choose love, my friends. The first step to being God’s love to others is to abide in the One who is love. You carry His love in you as He abides in you (John 15:4).
Jesus tells us the key to bearing the fruit of love when He says in John 15:5,
We cannot love the “unlovable” in our own strength. We can do nothing without the abiding Presence and power of the Lord.
Abide in God’s love.