Reflecting God’s Love

As followers of Christ, we are called to love one another. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” This is something that I strive to do in my everyday life. Although I have to say it is not always easy to love one another, especially if you do not agree or get along with the person. There have been so many times in my life when I have struggled to love people, whether that was a friend, family member, or even a stranger. But God has given us a higher calling. He has called us to love because He first loved us. We will never be able to do this perfectly, but God helps us and gives us the strength to love one another. He equips us with everything we need to do this.  

Last summer, I was challenged especially with laying my life down and loving others above myself. I was given the opportunity to work at a Christian camp and retreat center called Inspiration Point. I dedicated my entire summer to serving the students and families who would come to camp. Whether I was cleaning bathrooms, washing dishes, or counseling a cabin full of girls, I had to put the needs of others above myself. Nothing I did was about me, but about Christ. I was there to be a vessel for Christ in whatever I was doing. I was there to serve and show the love of Christ to all who came.  

One of the weeks, I was counseling a cabin of girls, and they were all at different points in their walks with the Lord and dealing with different things in their lives. Throughout that week I was able to just love each of them with the love of Christ right where they were at. I was able to get to know them and meet them where they were at in their lives.  

It is so amazing to think that Jesus does the same for us. He loves each one of us right where we are in life. That summer, I learned the importance of laying our lives down and loving others. Something that the staff at Inspiration Point say is, “The best life lived is the one given away.” I found that to be so true, especially this past summer. Giving everything to God is not easy, and I still struggle to do it perfectly. But I found that being a light for Him is so worth it. He gives us all that we need and will sustain us. I am able to love others because of His great love for us.  

John 3:16 talks about how God sent His one and only Son to die for the sins of all so that we could have eternal life. That is the ultimate picture of love. I could never have done it myself. We are so undeserving of that love, yet He gives it freely to all. Knowing this is so encouraging to me and reminds me of why I am called to love others, even when it is hard. Whether it is in school, sports, work, or anything I am doing, as followers of Christ, we are called to reflect Christ’s love toward others. He strengthens us in order to extend that love even when it does not seem possible.   

Erica Bang [first-year student] is from Lakeville, Minn. 

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