“There is no greater LOVE than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

St. John 15:13 (NLT)

The most powerful force in the universe, by far, is LOVE. I John 4:16 says, “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. God is Love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.”

God created us in his image and likeness. Love connects us to God, to our higher self and to one another. God’s commandment to us is that we love each other. Love heals our bodies, minds, hearts and even our relationships with others.

Each of us should be love’s perfect and powerful expression of God’s light. Sometimes we tend to forget or even ignore his truth when we experience the pain and weaknesses of life. This often leaves us feeling separated from God and from each other. We believe that we are incomplete; consequently, we repeatedly focus our energy on fixing ourselves and others in unimportant and unrealistic ways.

If we would spend more time getting to know and love the real person on the inside of us and do the same with others, then we would realize that we are all just fine the way God made us to be.

If there are any real and lasting changes to be made, we believe that sincere faith in God can do it. It is the feeling of inadequacy that can often undermine our self-esteem, that frustrates and makes us hypocritical towards ourselves and others.

The absence of loving attitudes and practices can often be at the root of our problems. In Romans 8:38, the apostle Paul says “nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God. …”

We do not have to settle for the confusion, anxiety and turmoil that have become the collective consciousness of humanity. We should understand that having unselfish love is the very purpose of our existence in the earth. Our capacity to love is never lost.

We should be ready to return love to our brothers and sisters at any time it is needed. Bitterness blocks love flow, and it can eat away at the heart. Unselfish love helps us to forgive anyone who has ever hurt us. Seeking revenge is not our work, its God’s.

Our work is Love. Loving means taking risks, trusting and growing through life’s bitter and sweet experiences. Unselfish love needs us to be used as channels of unlimited use. We were created for the purpose God wants each of us to be, which is an instrument of his love.

We should not base our lives and love on past experiences, but we can use them to move us forward and not backward. If we try to move forward while looking back, we will either run into something or trip and fall flat on our face.

Even if others aren’t willing to respond to our goodness or our love, we still win. In expressing our love, we are in harmony with God and the many blessings that flow from him.

Finally, we seemingly live in a society in which the real meaning and power of love has lost its influence and strength. God can help us to enjoy better and fulfilled lives whenever we operate under the guidance of “The power of Unselfish Love.”

Henry Badie Jr., the associate minister of Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ in Florence, is a member of the Morning News’ Faith & Values Advisory Board. Contact him and other board members at fvboard@florencenews.com.

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