Main Summary: Reduce Me to Love by Joyce Mayer is a book that centers on the God Kind of Love. What it is, How to express it, and why making a choice to learn and live by it is very important for every believer.
Lessons I learned from this book
- What Love is
- Loving others and blessing them with things
- Loving through your thoughts
- Loving by your actions
- Loving through words
- Loving Unconditionally
- Growing By Love
- Dangers of living without love
Love is not just the greatest commandment, it is the only commandment. It is not just how we live, rather it is who we are supposed to be—who we are. For me, knowing and learning to practice it is what our adventure on earth is all about—because it is who God is.
What Love Is
Love is not what you do or how you act. Love is who you are. We become love as we exercise ourselves in it. It is not how you feel, but a responsibility. It is choosing or making a conscious decision to treat people the way Jesus would treat them.
Love is not the cheap stuff people recite or proclaim, because it will cost you something. Our author calls it giving not getting. It should be the number one thing in your list of priorities, for studying, praying, and practice.
It is the foundation where our faith—our entire Christian life—stands upon. Knowing the love of God and allowing it to flow through us is the power behind Faith. It will determine how much your faith will produce.
It is a universal language everyone understands, and even though God may not love all we do, he loves us. The cost he has borne is proof that he does. So God loves you, no matter who you are—his entire nature is what Love truly is. Therefore bask in it, and let that be the understanding that reflects how you respond to him.
Love can be expressed in many ways to many people, however, one factor that doesn’t change is that it gives rather than take.
“Knowing the Love of God and allowing it to flow through us is the power behind Faith.”
Loving Others and Blessing Them with Things
The love motive in giving is to be a blessing rather than to receive. God wants us to be a blessing to others. That what things are for. In our authors’ language, it is wrong to consider receiving as a primary motive for giving to others.
When we put receiving first, it lures us to serve things. Things on their own not evil, but can lure us away from the love of God. We must learn to put the proper value on God and his love and also on things.
“Your primary motive for giving, shouldn’t be to receive; but to bless others.”
God blesses us to be a blessing to others. He wants us to love people and use things to bless them. However, no one is too poor to be a blessing. If you are committed to loving others, you will be creative in expressing your love—what you have or not have notwithstanding.
There are various levels of giving, each level varies in the level of pain it is admitted with. So also is the level of reward different. But whichever level you operate from, love must be your main motive.
Loving Through Your Thoughts
What you think about others, has the potential to affect them. Not that alone but also your relationship with them. If your thoughts towards anyone are negative, your attitude towards them will also be negative. It doesn’t matter how you try to fake or hide it.
The mind is where everything you do begins. So if you must love others, you must have good thoughts about them. This is so important, that your prayers for anyone you have negative thoughts against will not work.
You can practice this with anyone that has a hostile attitude against you, love them by changing your thoughts concerning them. You’ll notice that their attitude towards you will change.
Now coming to your personal affairs, our author establishes that you can’t have lived a great life with wrong thoughts. If your engine house is bad, its products can’t be good. God will not bless your actions with a wrong motive behind them.
However, because of how thoughts are generated, it becomes your responsibility to guard your mind and not just cast-off wrong thoughts but turn them into right ones based on the word of God.
Loving By Your Actions
As great as loving others with our thoughts sounds, it is not enough. You must grow up into practicing the love already created in your heart.
This is what God through Paul described in his first epistle to the Corinthians in chapter 13:4-8. Our love must be proved by what it does.
Love is patient, if you are always hasty, no inner strength to wait for anything then you must work on it. So also it goes with all the fruits of the Spirit. You already have the nature in you, so you live it. From Joy to Self-Control they are all actions of love—how love is expressed.
Love hates injustice and loves justice. It doesn’t keep offenses. It is better to forgive quickly before it takes root. As a weed with deep roots is harder to pull out. Love doesn’t think of self above others. That’s pride! Pride finds its expansion around anyone who is overly self-conscious.
Also Read: Why You Should Know God’s Love
Loving Through Words
Good words always produce a harvest of good relationships. For me, I think this is the simplest way to express God’s love to others. By showering them with kind words—not flattery.
Good words spoken with good intentions will express in no small way the love of God to those around you. I cannot forget this nugget from our author, “We can overcome evil with good with words of Love.”
God doesn’t require us to earn his love before he gives it. He loved us before we were born. He loved us while we ignored and rejected him in the desire to let sin have its way.
So also you must not require others to earn our love before we give it. That’s the God Kind of Love. It is not love when it fades amidst a difficult situation. It should be constant, that why it’s not a feeling.
“Our Love is tested with the way we treat people who cannot do us any good.”
Loving unconditionally develops you. When you love the selfish, give the stingy, and bless the unappreciative, you grow in love.
Love is not the absence of correction and discipline. When your love only finds expression when you are not reproved, then it is not complete. Your unconditional love is put to test with how you express love to those who cannot do you any good.
You must avoid being prejudiced towards those who may not be of the same race as you are. Or those who you may not be as privileged as you are. They were also made in God’s image and likeness.
Growing By Love
Love is already a nature embedded in every believer. However, to live by this nature we must first choose to love. This choice is what then finds expression when feelings give way. It is the continuous choice to love that makes this nature already in us grow.
“We become Love as we exercise ourselves in it. It is not something we can decide to do or not do anymore..”
Naturally, placing yourself around those with the love of God compels the love in you to grow. Watching these people love you and others puts you in a place of replicating the same.
In the same vein, the author explained that everyone around you is a recipient of love, the rich or the poor, less privileged or well privileged. However, to experience sporadic growth, it is wise to sow love into those who are greater than you are Heb 7:7.
Dangers of Living Without Love
Every thin outside love doesn’t please God. And if it doesn’t please God, it automatically pleases the adversary.
If we can win battles with love, it means we will lose without it. Any lifestyle that depicts the excesses of the flesh will ruin you. It reduces your authority in Christ to get things done. Such excesses are lying, stealing, fault finding, wrong words, and the likes. It is foolish to not get rid of any action that gives the devil room in your life.
What’s the use of having so much at your disposal and never get to use it. Love is the key to everything in the kingdom of God. Every instruction (laws) and all the promises (prophets) are at loves mercy.
In conclusion, we have seen extensively what love is. We’ve seen what it is for, how it affects you and others around you. Part of what we looked at is how you can express it and finally the dangers of neglecting it. You should remember this silver lining about love—it gives. So if what you are so engrossed in is not giving to others, it’s not a sign of love.
Finally, here’s my question for you.
What areas have you highlighted to work on; in your love life?
I will love to hear from you, please leave your answer and comments on the comment box below.
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Also Read: God’s Authority and Power