How Do We Live Out Love, Practically?

“LOVE….lets get some practicality in here….how DO we live out this love? What do you do when you look around at your church, your peer group, other christian women, and they resemble the WORLD far more than they do the body of Christ! How do we PRACTICALLY relate to one another, when in the everyday of life we have nothing in common except our love for Christ!?  At what point does it become the responsibility of SOMEONE (Pastors, Elders, Older Wiser Women) to challenge our resemblance to the world??”

What do you think? How do we live out love in the everyday?

 

70 Coffee Talks on “How Do We Live Out Love, Practically?”

  1. Micah says:

    I just wanted to say that I said too much, and I didn't write anything very practical. But, I do like your picture of the girl scouts gathered 'round lovin' and enjoying eachother. :)Happy Day!

  2. Kimberly says:

    Hello Ladies!

    This is my first time writing in here, and I hope you don't mind, but I'm coming from a *very* different perspective than most of you. I am an 18-year old girl, living at home while attending my first year of college, so I do not have the experience of actual wife- and mother-hood, yet. But I thought I might share what God's been showing me lately on this subject anyways, in hopes that it might help someone else as well.

    This actually ended up being the topic of conversation (of sorts) at tonight's youth bible study… We read in Galatians 2, talking about the division between the Jewish Church and the Gentile Church. What my pastor pointed out is that there is only ONE Savior: Jesus Christ. We are all equally sinful before Him, and He died for ALL of us. Therefore, for there to be division in the church on account of differences in preferences, personalities, life-walks, etc. is grieving to our Savior's heart.

    I know that we will always disagree on something. And yes, on some matters, the Bible gives explicit Truths. But in others, the directions are not so clear; we must listen to the Holy Spirit as much as possible in our own lives and learn our way through. And I think on some matters, what the Lord wants for some of us is not what He wants for others, but that *neither* way is any less than the other! He may simply be wanting you to reach a particular group of people in that place in your life, and someone else may be called to reach a completely different group of people.

    To love in spite of these disagreements, is I think, to show the same Grace and Patience to one another that Jesus showed us. "Love does not behave rudely…is not provoked…thinks no evil…does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things…" "Love covers a multitude of sins" Love puts others first, humbly remembering that really, we are no better than this other person, and must go to the same Savior. Love is 'not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs'. I think Rhonda said it best, in that Mercy and Truth are always spoken of *together*. We should not separate them, or people get hurt. I think this might also go along with the verses that exhort us to watch our words, to speak life and not death. To encourage others, not tear them down. I think a lot of how we love others is in the words we choose to say, and how we say them. We should have compassionate hearts when dealing with others with whom we disagree, and at least show them kindness and consideration because they follow the same Savior. And like Rhonda said, sometimes you may need to speak a particularly difficult Truth to someone… just remember that in doing so, you must be doing so out of humility and grace, not pride because you think you know better than them.

    I noticed above that a lot of the contention between commenters was regarding the disagreement over homeschooling/public-schooling and SAHM/working-moms. (Sarah Mae, if this is something you do not want continued in the conversation, please feel free to edit my comment to remove this!) My situation is quite different from most of you… I have had experience in both homeschool and public school, and am very blessed that God used both types of schooling to continue to grow me, and give me an understanding of 'both sides of the fence', if you will. And I will say that while I preferred my years of homeschooling, I do not believe that sending your children to public school is wrong. Neither do I believe that moms who have to work outside the home are somehow outside of God's Will. And I really appreciate your dear grace-filled attitude in this regard, Sarah Mae!

    While she was able to stay at home with me and my younger siblings for many of our growing up years (for which I am so thankful), my mom had to start working permanently outside the home about 6-7 years ago because my dad was no longer able to support us on one income. That's when we started going to public school. But just because she had to start working full-time and send us to school in NO way means that she was not fulfilling her calling to be a keeper of the home, and a trainer of her children! She always made sure that God and family were her priorities, something I believe many working-moms here strive to do.

    I think that at the end of it all, what matters is our heart. I can understand it being wrong if a mom is working only for self-fulfillment, or if parents send their children to school only because they don't want to be bothered with them at home all day. But if parents send their children to school, or moms have to work, but they still obey God in continually teaching the Love of Him to their children, and keep the home as a priority over work, then I can't see that as something God would be angry about.

    2 years ago, my dad turned his back on God and walked out on our family. Since then, my mom has had to continue working outside the home and my siblings have had to attend the public schools in our area. But God has been faithful, and in our unorthodox situation, He is the Father of our family. He's the One who has helped us pick up the broken pieces. Yes, it's not ideal, but then, this is life, and life is messy, dirty, and broken. That's why we need Jesus.

    So I guess, the end of my long comment here (I'm sorry I've rambled!) is to just remember the Love and Grace and Patience that Jesus showed you and gave you when He died in your place while you were still a sinner, disagreeable and hard to get along with. And then share that same Patience, Love, and Grace in humility with others.

  3. Tina says:

    This is such a difficult question to answer. I struggle with it on a weekly basis. When I attend our church I see the world instead of the Kingdom. I feel torn, and in some ways I feel betrayed?. Its like Im trying so hard to be kingdom minded and live it out in my daily life, yet I look at others and it seems they are not.

    I guess when it comes down to it, all of it is a heart issue. And the Lord is the only one who can see into a man's heart and know if that person is truly seeking the Kingdom of God first. I can't do that.

    Of course we can see a person's fruits. (Matt 7:20) And perhaps based on the actions and life of a brother or sister in Christ we can see that they are obviously sinning or perhaps just being foolish we can give them guidance and point them to scripture which can convict them through the Holy Spirit. He gives us a boldness to use with people, but we should not be prideful or condemning with our brothers and sisters in Christ. (or anyone for that matter)

    Practically what does this look like? Hmmm perhaps it a matter of Idolatry. A worship issue. When I go to church and see another sister in Christ who sends her kids to public school, works outside the home and seems to want to wear the pants in her marriage. She seems quite different then me, a homeschooling, SAHM who struggles everyday to live out Ephesians 5:22. Do I value; LOVE, my comfort, my opinions more then I love Jesus? Who commands me to love her? And if I love Jesus I WILL keep his commandments. So I should show this woman love. Love through a cup of coffee, or by inviting her family over for Sunday dinner after church. In spite of my discomfort to be around her and what looks like a worldly appearance. And perhaps by me and my family showing her love through fellowship with her she might know Jesus better. Like others have done for me through the years.

    Jesus prayed for us and his heart was for us to be in the world but not of the world. He is praying this knowing his death would be coming shortly! (John 17)
    I found this sermon to be very helpful- http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/the-gospel-of…

    • Tina says:

      sorry this comment was so disjointed:) I was nursing a babe while trying to comment!

  4. Mel says:

    We need to check our own hearts. Perhaps we aren't the ones to confront. If we are only confronting because we want that person to see things our way, then we need to deal with our own heart issue and it is not the time or place to talk to them. We need to be very careful before we tell another believer that they are sinning.

  5. Serena Woods says:

    I love what Kimberly wrote. :)

  6. pauline says:

    i think first we really have to think about what love is as the bible reveals it to us. it is one thing to love on others out of obedience but to truly love so that it's not like we have to "try" to love. kinda know what i mean?

    after thinking a lot about that lately, our love needs to mirror god's love: a sacrificial one, full of grace, without expectation. it's the gospel. possessing the gospel in our hearts so that when we encounter situations that place us in the presence of others who, though may know and jesus, live completely differently than we do, the practical acts of love come naturally. and uniquely as fit for each situation. i think this also applies to all other relationships we have in our lives (spouses, children, etc.).

  7. pauline says:

    sorry, i've never commented hear before and i guess my original was too long! so here goes more of it:

    practically . . . i think it needs to begin with a daily (or even multiple times a day) exercise to constantly remind ourselves of the gospel, to constantly remind ourselves of what saved us in the first place . . . to remind ourselves daily how wretched we are and that wretchedness deserves only death. yet the same god who sits on a majestic throne in heaven, being called "holy holy holy" day and night, and has crowns cast before him, is the same god who loves us so much that regardless of how totally unworthy we really are, he sacrificed his son to take our place in judgment. and not just to take our sin from us, but at the same time placed jesus' righteousness on us. it's a daily exercise of coming before his cross in humility and remembering that gift, totally undeserved by you and me.

  8. pauline says:

    lol, okay here is the last part. sorry!

    and if we can all begin to do that, exercise that, and ingrain it in our hearts, then, by our awesome god's grace and the power of the holy spirit, loving can become as natural to us as breathing.

    so whatever it looks like practically, when we think about how to "love" others in this world, we are really considering how we can serve them. it's how jesus loved. that's really the only way we can even begin to establish a relationship with others, especially those who don't know christ. meeting a need sacrificially, like jesus met ours . . .

    it's living gospelly, so that we can live in community. remember, we cannot be their holy spirit . . . we cannot convict them, only god can. but we can be used to shed light, by example of godly living, to help them get to that place where they have a relationship with god that they can "hear" directly from him what his will is for their lives.

  9. Sarah Mae says:

    This is a new commenting system, I hope it works out! I didn't know it stopped long comments! Boo!

  10. Angela says:

    This is a topic so dear to my heart. I haven't taken the time to read all the comments, but I want to weigh in anyway at the risk of repeating someone else or messing up the flow of conversation. The first passage that comes to my mind as I contemplate the question is Genesis 3:12-13 "The man replied, 'It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.' Then the Lord God asked the woman, 'What have you done?' 'The serpent deceived me,' she replied. 'That's why I ate it.'"

    I have pondered this passage countless times this past year. I believe that it wasn't the mistake of eating the fruit that brought on the curse. I believe it was that they were pointing fingers, shifting blame, avoiding taking personal responsibility for their mistakes, and humbling themselves before their Creator to ask them how to make things right.

    If we take care of ourselves…if we dig in and stop looking like the world ourselves…if we take Jesus at His Word and start doing the things He told us to do (pray for the sick, cast out demons, feed the hungry and the poor, embrace the sinners of the world), then we will have an impact on the rest of our group. If they look like the world now and you start making these changes in your own life, either you will have a new set of friends on the other side or your friends will also start looking like Jesus with you.

    Peter's admonition to wives is perfectly translated to this issue of friendships:
    1 Peter 3:1-2 "In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives."

    This is what I'm talking about. We all look like the world here in America, and God is knocking gently on our doors, inviting us to something more, to something better, to the gospel of truth which brings true freedom and security unlike anything the world has to offer. We have all been guilty at one time or another of holding onto our fake pearls and steadfastly refusing to trade them in on the real ones Jesus offers.

    What changes me and my behavior has always been and will always remain God's subtle and gentle touches and ways affecting a shift in my thoughts and my heart toward a longing for something more than what I've been experiencing; a deep and heartfelt hunger to see the pages of the Bible come to life not just in my quiet time, but in my everyday existence. And yes, it has also been the gentle and reassuring nudges I receive from my friends who love me, know me inside and out, and care about me enough to give me different perspectives and even sometimes saying the hard things. However, these friends never judge me. If they think a judgmental thought while they're listening to me vent (like I often do when I'm listening to those I love), they do not share it on their lips. They leave it in a silent discussion with the Lord and pray for me about it later. My friends do tell me the truth, and I am convicted of my sin when I listen to the the things that speak to their hearts, when I hear them sharing their own struggles with submission and homemaking and eating at fast food restaurants when life gets too hectic. They speak the truth as it resonates in their own hearts, and I listen with an open mind and an open heart because I love them and I know they love me. And many, many times it is their truth that convicts me to see the lies in my life and oust them out.

  11. Jessalyn says:

    She’s looking through dirty windows, squinting through small patches of light.
    The sinners walking by are entertaining, their faults so obvious to her.
    She watches them stumble and wonders why they don’t change their ways.
    Sometimes, she shouts and waves through her windows trying to warn them as they fall.
    They look around, confused and startled, searching for the one offering correction,
    but all they see are dirty windows.
    She knows she could be more useful if only her house weren’t so dirty,
    but that would take so much effort, so much work, so much sacrifice.
    You see, its easier to look through the fog of dirty windows
    than into the mirror of self examination.

    “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” -Matthew 7:3-5

    I believe we must see ourselves as the sinners we are and diligently work out our own sanctification first, then through the grace of God he will be useful to those around us who are also stumbling. It is then that we can lovingly come alongside our sisters in Christ and help them without hypocrisy and with greater understanding.

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    I'm Sarah Mae. I'm figuring out how to fit perfect into fallen skin. Stick around for the stretching...your soul is welcome here.

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