PROVE IT (If You Love Me)

Matthew 4:1
And the tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell the stones to become bread.”

So, you are wondering what this scripture has to do with love. It struck me what Satan was really saying to Jesus is, “Prove it.” That what these temptations were about.

The last time I studied this scripture, I heard a voice in my head imitating a teenage boy saying to a girl (or the other way around), “If you love me, prove it. Do just these things for or with me, and I will know you love me.”

1st Corinthians 13: 4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t read anything about ‘prove it’ there.

It seems strange to me that when I love someone I am always seeking ways to show – to prove – that I love that person. But at the same time, I don’t ask the people who love me for continual proof that they love me. If I insist people express their love by acting certain ways or expressing certain thoughts, I am insecure in myself or the love of the other person. It’s a symptom of immature (and self- centered) self-love.

Christ was always looking for ways to show his love. Contrary to what many of us think, He doesn’t demand certain words from us before he believes we love him. He doesn’t demand certain rituals for us to show our love. What he does ask is for us to be on the outlook for ways to show our love for Christ to other people. Now isn’t that backwards?

So the actions required of us to show our love is for the other person’s benefit. Why do we feel compelled act certain ways or follow certain rituals and speak certain ways?

I think that part of showing our love is about reminding ourselves who we love and what that love requires of us in terms of commitment. How we act and the words we use are the ones that are meaningful to us.

We are often drawn to love people who use the same words and find meaning in the same symbols we do, but we cannot expect some one else to express their love for us the very same way we express our love.

But just try to imagine the rich relationships we would miss out on if we thought love and devotion could be expressed in just one way. When we spend our lives accepting the love of only people who act in our preconceived ways and use only approved phrases, we lose that richness and cheat other people out of a chance express love and let ability to feel and express love.

Finally, when we try to control how everyone else’s love is supposed to look, we only make our own hearts hard because we are continually disappointed, and we have missed the happiness that is the byproduct of allowing people to love us.

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