If someone asked you if you love your life, what would you say? It seems most people would say they don't love their life. But as believers in Christ, we can learn to love the life we have.
I know what it's like to have a miserable life, and how wonderful it is to live with God's peace and joy. I remember when God spoke to my heart and told me, "You're not happy because you're selfish." It wasn't easy to hear, but facing that truth helped me surrender my will to God, so He could begin working in me and help me make the changes I needed to make.
I discovered that the key to loving my life is making love—God's love—the central theme of my life.
God is love—it's not just what He does, but who He is. He loves us unconditionally, and when we believe that, it changes us; it makes us confident and secure.
Knowing you are loved gives you courage and boldness to step out and try new things, so you don't have to be stuck with a negative attitude about life in general, or in a situation you hate. It gives you security that enables you to confront unhealthy relationships, knowing you'll be OK—and even better than before—however things turn out.
Here's how God's love works in our lives: We receive His love for us, then we see ourselves the way He does and love ourselves in a healthy way, and finally, we let His love flow through us to others.
The goal is to take in the good things God offers us, and then go out in the world and give to others what He has given to us! God wants to give us His love, mercy, grace and forgiveness, and He expects those things to flow through us to the people in our world.
God created us to be loved and to love others. First John 3:11 (AMP) says, "This is the message which you [believers] have heard from the beginning [of your relationship with Christ], that we should [unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another." That's real Christianity.
If we really get down to it, how much do we really think about what we can do for other people? I've learned that when I'm focusing on myself, what I want or how I can get others to do what I want them to do, I am frustrated, easily offended and upset much of the time.
I lived this way for many years, and when I became serious about my relationship with God and started studying His Word, I discovered it wasn't the life Jesus died to give me. I also began to see things in my attitude and behavior that weren't pleasing to God.
In my journey to healing and wholeness in my soul, I had to confront pain from things people had done to me ... abuse I had endured from my parents and other ways I was mistreated by people.
God revealed to me that I couldn't have unforgiveness in my heart and be right with Him. Forgiving others was not a choice I could make based on my feelings; it was a decision of my will. While the process of forgiveness was hard and painful, I can honestly say it was worth it to be free of the anger that was rooted in my soul.
I want to encourage you to examine your heart today and determine if you are holding on to a grudge against someone. Pray and ask God to help you see the truth about yourself. If He shows you something, make the choice to forgive, and give it all to Him.
Don't think about what was done to you continually; instead, pray about it and pray for the person who hurt you. Pray that God will bless them with the truth, so they can repent for what they've done wrong and be right with Him. If they don't repent, then just be thankful for the healing God has done in you and move on.
Remember that God is love, and the more we love like Him, the better our lives will be. John 3:16 says, "For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life."
Be determined to love in your actions, not just your words. Be obedient to God's Word and trust Him to change your heart as you take steps of faith, following the leading of the Holy Spirit. As you do, you'll find you're the happiest you've ever been when you're living to love others!
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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