This commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother (1 John 4:21, esv).
When you’re having a problem in any relationship, you can grab a number of tools from your toolbox in an attempt to fix it. Perhaps one of the tools you’ve been in the habit of picking up is the hammer, when you’re determined to put things back in place by whatever show of strength you feel is necessary. Another is the drill, intended to go sharply and directly to the heart of the matter. A less angry, more subtle tool is the chisel. By using it, you can slowly start chipping away at things, making small bits of progress, sometimes without the other person even realizing what you’re doing.
Each of these tools has its proper place, function, and time. But there’s only one tool that’s suitable for every application.
And though it may not have a hammer/drill/chisel equivalent in the workshop—a familiar shape for you to pick up, feel, and immediately know how to use—love is no less a tool than any of the others. In fact, love is the most powerful tool for advancing God’s purposes in any situation.
Love is the way forward. It’s the way to gain traction, and the way to preserve any hope of having opportunity to work on the problem again tomorrow if it can’t be fixed today. Anything substituted for love puts the whole thing at risk.
The multi-purpose possibilities of love make it the most important tool at your disposal. With love in hand, you’re able to:
“Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8a, nasb).
If you’re ready to take a step forward with a relational problem that seems to be going backward, put love to work and leave all the other tools in the box. You just might be amazed at what God builds.
Lord, thank You for loving me like no other. Your faithfulness never fails. You are the master of knowing how to love in strong ways, tender ways, and in whatever ways are able to reawaken me to what’s truly important. I confess that I fail in loving others like this, and I’m convicted by Your Spirit today to be less selfish in my relationships. Help me to “follow the way of love” (1 Corinthians 14:1, niv) and demonstrate Christ to those you bring into my life. I admit that I can only do this through Your strength. Help me build hope and reassurance back into my relationships by always aiming to love others unconditionally. I pray this in Jesus’ name, by His power, and for His glory. Amen.