Loving and being loved make life worth living.
People often have times in their lives when they believe they are unloved or have no one to love. They develop this mind-set because they are looking for fulfillment in ways that seem good at first but often leave them feeling frustrated, disappointed and empty inside. If they dwell constantly on their negative thoughts, they become extremely unhappy and depressed.
Only by walking in love—putting love into action by continually reaching out to others and making an effort to show them love through various acts of kindness—can they truly find what they desperately seek.
Love is the energy of life. It's what motivates people to get up each day and keep going. It gives life purpose and meaning. The world is looking for love, but it is really looking for God because He is love.
I am still learning and know that I always will be. But I am grateful to the Father for the revelation He has given me concerning this subject. It has changed my life.
I am convinced it will change your life too—if you are willing to allow Him to eliminate anything in your life that is holding you back, anything that is keeping you from walking in love and finding true fulfillment in life.
Love is liberating. The Bible teaches that "the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom)" (2 Cor. 3:17, The Amplified Bible). Love provides a sense of belonging and a sense of freedom. It does not try to control or manipulate others or reach fulfillment through the destiny of others.
Many women push their husbands to climb the ladder of success or make progress in politics. Some husbands pressure their wives to be something or do something that does not even remotely interest them.
That is not the way true love works. It does not try to gain personal satisfaction at the expense of others.
If you and I really love something, we must take a chance on setting it free. If it truly belongs to us, it will come back. But a caged bird cannot fly!
We need to release the people in our lives to be all they can be for God's glory, not our own. Jesus said that He was sent by God to proclaim liberty. As believers, that is what we are meant to do also—to free people to fulfill God's will for their lives, not to bring them under our control.
Paul said he was free from anyone else's control, but he made himself a bond slave to all for Christ's sake in order to win them to Him (see 1 Cor. 9:19). I have discovered that trying to make people do what I want them to do closes the door for God to speak to their hearts. What I am trying to get them to do may be something they would do anyway, but everyone wants to make their own choices.
Set people free and they will love you for it. Obviously this does not mean letting them do everything they want to do. But it does mean learning to let God be in control.
The Greek translation of "liberty" in the Bible is defined as "a loosening, relaxation." Make sure the atmosphere in your home is a relaxed one, not one that makes people feel that if they don't please you all the time tension will fill the air and tempers will explode.
A person who has great love is one who is able to release people and things. He does so because he has himself been released.
Walking in love is not a natural lifestyle for people—especially when they are going through personal trials. It takes effort, involvement and sacrifice.
But we believers are equipped with the power of the Holy Spirit to make it possible for us to make the journey. We must never lose our burning desire to walk in love every day because by doing so we become overcomers in life.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. She has written more than 70 books, including the popular Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind, and her most recent, The Everyday Life Bible (all FaithWords). She is also the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce Meyer, log on at www.charismamag.com/meyer.