I grew up in a home filled with books. My parents are avid readers, and their love for books has greatly influenced my passion for reading.
Growing up, I observed my Mum had certain books she treated with the utmost care. If you felt like getting on her nerves, just handle any one of those books without care and you will get what you deserve.
Amongst all of the books, one which stood out to me was ‘Love; The way to victory’ by Kenneth E. Hagin. She had boldly inscribed on the front page a warning to all readers of the book to ensure they handled this book with care. I never really understood why she took it that seriously, But I think I get it now.
So, I decided to pick up that book recently. I was excited to read it because I had gotten myself acquainted with Kenneth E. Hagin’s teachings and writings, and I connected with him so well, even in his death. I settled down to read the book and thought it was going to be business as usual, breeze through the book in a few days and call it done. However, I was in for a shock!
I managed to get through the first few chapters, and then I got stuck. I couldn’t go further. Suddenly the zeal I had vanished. This book bore the hard truth of love that I had neglected. If you are someone who loves reading, can you imagine reading becoming a chore? Yes! That’s how I felt. Nonetheless, it took me about two months to complete that book.
My mindset about love was challenged. I felt attacked by that book. And when I feel attacked, I have this bad habit of shutting down hence why I took so long to complete the book. However, I knew this was not a book written based on a person’s opinion. It was an exposition based on the Word of God, so I had a duty to comply with everything I had read.
After completing the book, I realised why my Mum treasured that book. My Mum is a Woman of Faith, and she has laid an excellent example for us her children. I grew up seeing her do things that seemed strange in the name of love, and I never understood. Even up till date, she goes all the way for the people in her life. I would even challenge her sometimes, and she would bring up this topic of love. I was that person that believed in paying people what they deserved before I experienced the love of Christ. My encounter with Christ opened my eyes, and I now appreciate what my Mum has shown us over the years. She is my role model after Jesus Christ when it comes to love.
During a Bible Study session last year, I remember our leader explaining this love thing. I concluded in my heart from all I had heard that day that to love like Jesus today equals to being a ‘Mumu’ (A Nigerian vernacular meaning fool). Being a person that loves to fight for my right and give everyone what they deserved, I struggled with everything I heard that day. I had never opened my heart to receive the message of love like that day.
For someone who had memorized 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 as far back as primary school, I realized it’s one thing to be familiar with the Word, and it’s another thing to have a revelation from the Word.
I found myself asking questions like; Why should I let people off so quickly after hurting me? Why should I be kind and be of help to people who held back from helping me during my time of need? If they don’t care about me, why should I care for them? Why must I sacrifice? Life is already hard on its own; why can’t I focus on myself? Is it by force to share what I have?
But guess what? I have realized now that it is possible. It is possible to love the way Jesus did. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I can follow Jesus’s example. I must choose to die to self daily.
What do I mean by dying to self? Choose others over yourself. But ultimately, choose the ways of Jesus over yours. Your emotions are not dependable, so you cannot rely on them. Jesus is the only stable person I know, and so it makes perfect sense to rely on His ways.
I am learning how to love every day. Some days I harden my heart, but most of the time I try to align myself to the ways of Jesus. It is a journey that would not end until we are called home or when Jesus returns. So you and I must choose to love every day!! We are not called to love only the lovable; we have been called to love ALL men. It is not an easy way, neither is it a popular way which makes it even harder, but it is the only way to victory.
I recommend the book mentioned above, ‘Love; The way to victory’ by Kenneth E. Hagin. You can find the print and e-book version here.
My Sister in the Faith has written a blog post on this topic, and it is extensive. I recommend reading it because she goes in-depth and it served as one of my inspirations for this post, check here.
I also recommend that you read and meditate on 1 Corinthians 13: 1 -13. It is a manual for love, and I know it would guide you accurately. The Bible should be your primary guide on learning to love.
At the end of the day it’s not how much money you make, or the number of degrees you have that will matter once you leave the earth. What really matters is how much you loved others and how that love impacted their lives.
Lastly, I have attached a printable titled ‘Confession of Love’ culled from Kenneth E. Hagins book. I confess these words as often as I can because our words have the power to create our reality. Feel free to download it and join me as we confess these words until they become an essential part of us. You can download the printable below.
Praying for you as you embark on your journey of loving as Christ loved!