God is love. So, it follows, that He loved, loves, and will love all of the people He has ever created and will create. As believers, we have accepted His love, although we may not fully understand how He could possibly love each of us individually and especially all of us collectively, including those who are yet to accept Him. Now, the greatest commandments, according to Jesus, are to love God with everything we have or are – heart, soul, mind, and body/strength and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Mark 12:30-31) (Note: All people are our neighbors; some live close by and some live far away and some live very, very far away.) Over time, we grow in our understanding of just how much God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, loves us/all people. We gather this from how He created us from Genesis 1:26-28, and we know this from how He chose to redeem us according to the Gospels (well, actually the whole Bible), especially the Passion Week passages. Different verses become etched in our hearts as we are maturing John 3:16; Romans 5:8; John 15:13, and so on and on.
Adhering to His command to love Him and to love all others as we love ourselves necessitates a clear understanding of just how He intends for us to love Him and others rightly. I know there have been many great books written about how we should express our love for others. And perhaps, you have run across the book on love languages too. But the truth is we can only love God and people for real according to the way God has prescribed. So, let’s take a quiz together based on the Scripture and discover the ways that we need to grow in our love for God and for others and for ourselves. This quiz will not be exhaustive because we cannot cover the entire Bible in a blog post. So, here we go.
Oh, before we start, let’s be clear about a couple of things, first obeying God is evidence that we love Him (John 14:15, 21, 23; 1 John 5:3), and second, loving one another is another primary indicator that we love Him too (1 John 4:20-21).
1. Do you love God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of
your mind and with all of your body/strength (Mark12:30-31)?
2. Do you love your brother/sister/neighbor/… enough to:
· to be patient, longsuffering with him/her/them and
· to be kind, nice, sympathetic, generous, gentle, thoughtful, compassionate,
considerate, caring with/towards him/her/them and
· not to be envious, resentful of, covetous of, spiteful of, begrudging of
· not to boast, be a braggard, vaunt, be pretentious or self-absorbed and
· not to be proud, conceited, self-important, pompous, self-righteous, egotistical,
· not to be rude, vulgar, offensive, disrespectful, foul, crude, indecent towards
· to not be self-seeking, self-centered, egocentric, selfish and
· not to be easily angered, annoyed, enraged, exasperated, irritated, frustrated,
incensed, provoked by him/her/them and
· not to keep any record of his/her/their wrongs, insults, offenses, abuses,
trespasses, sins and
· not to delight in evil, wickedness, sinfulness, immorality and
· to rejoice with the truth, genuineness, facts, truthfulness, integrity, fidelity,
· to always protect, shield, shelter, safeguard, look after, watch over and
· to always trust, have faith in, rely on, depend on, count on, be sure about, have
confidence in and
· to always hope, anticipate, expect, long, yearn, look forward to and
· to always persevere, continue, stick it out, endure, keep on, press on and
· to never let your love fail, disappoint, neglect, forsake, desert, betray, fade, diminish,
wane for him/her/them?
3. Do you love others this much?
4. And do you love yourself the same?
5. Now, do you love your enemies?
· Do you love your enemies enough to do good to them?
· Do you love your enemies enough to bless them instead of curse them?
· Do you love your enemies enough to pray for them when they mistreat you?
· Do you love your enemies enough to give to them?
· Do love people enough to do to/for them what you would want done to/for you?
Okay, how’d you do? If your score wasn’t what you wanted it to be, don’t fret. You can retake
this quiz as often as you like to see how you are growing in your love for people and your love for God. Pray to love all people, who are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-28), the way God has instructed us to and the way in which He Himself has demonstrated through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. God answers prayers. Learn to see people through the eyes of Jesus Christ, who loved all of us (from continent to continent, from nation to nation, from people group to people group, from person to person) while we were yet sinners enough to die for us all – worldwide (Romans 5:8). And if you need help loving your enemies, remember that each of us, who are now believers, were once living as His enemies too, and unfortunately, when we continue to sin, we still behave like His enemies, even though we know He hung on the cross on our behalf (Colossians 1:21).
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. …
Luke 6:27-36 (NIV)
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Matthew 7:12 (NIV)
12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
For further study:
Romans 5:8, 10
1 Peter 4:8
1 John 3:14-18; 4:7-21