By Carol Round – “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world”— Matthew 5:8 (MSG).
Recently I came across an article titled, “10 Of the Most Unexpectedly Powerful Things in The World.” Scanning the article, I was amazed at the information provided by the author. Some of the most powerful things in the world are related to the animal kingdom.
I experienced one of the most powerful things in the animal kingdom while on a mission trip to Costa Rica several years ago. Watching ants marching in a line across the dry soil, I was astonished to see each one toting a leaf on their backs. Later, I learned they are called leafcutter ants. These ants can lift up to 50 times their body weight, which—according to this article—is the equivalent of a human casually lifting a truck.
I’m convinced, however, that love is the most powerful thing in the world. Not the love of romance novels and movies, but the kind of love that led Jesus to surrender to a bloody death on a wooden cross. It’s called agape love.
What is Agape Love?
In this noisy, broken world with the news of division among families, neighbors, and friends, hatred seems to reign. Social media is filled with rants and threats.
We wring our hands in despair and wonder how we should respond. Should we react in defense of our beliefs or follow the example of our Savior and Lord? Our animal instinct might lead us to throw the next punch, but that’s not what Jesus displayed on the cross or during his three-year ministry.
We’re to rise above the chaos and show agape love, a love that doesn’t say, “What’s in it for me?” Agape love is sacrificial love. It shows action.
Taking Action in this World
When we’re wrapped up in “self,” we’re unable to display agape love. As Christians, we’re called to humble ourselves before the Lord and put others before ourselves. What might that look like in today’s world?
In God’s eyes, agape love looks something like this: mentoring a troubled teen, volunteering at a local soup kitchen, making time to visit and listen to a homebound lonely senior, collecting blankets or food to donate to a homeless shelter, delivering meals to the ill who are stuck at home, forgiving those who have hurt us. The list could go on indefinitely.
James 2:26 tells us “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” We can attend church every Sunday but walk away with a dead spirit, a spirit dedicated to “self” and not others.
Dedicated to Others
When our minds and hearts align, we can serve others with the love of God and expect nothing in return. Our spirits come alive, and we reflect the goodness of our loving, compassionate God. It is only then that our lives reflect the value of an effective life.
Minister and author Myles Monroe once said, “The value of life is not in its duration but in its donation. You are not important because of how long you live, you are important because of how effective you live.”
The most powerful thing in the world is love—a selfless love we can only hope to attain through a relationship with Jesus Christ. One can profess to be a Christian, but the question is “Are you only dedicated to self?” or, “Are you a Christ-follower, a disciple who leaves the pew to be the hands and feet of Jesus?”
I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] with your thoughts, or visit my blog for more inspiration at www.carolaround.com. If you need a speaker or workshop leader, you can contact me at the above e-mail or through my website. I’d be delighted to hear from you.
Photo credit: thefrisky.com