Loving for the Long Run

She’s the girl who doesn’t realize her boots went out of style three years ago. She’s the girl who constantly brags about her accomplishments and drives you crazy. She’s the girl who knows she’s an outcast. She’s also the girl who has no clue what people say behind her back.

We can all think of someone like this, and our first inclination is usually not to love them. Instead of saying, “She looks like she needs a friend,” we think, “I hope she doesn’t sit next to me!”

Jesus says that people will know that we are His disciples if we love one another (John 13:35). So how do we love people? By inviting them to dinner one Friday night, helping them study for an upcoming test, or stopping by their dorm room to ask how their day went.

These are all great ways to reach out to people, but they’re only the first steps to developing a relationship. If all we do is invite someone to hang out for 30 minutes, is that showing them that we really care?

Let’s take a look at what 1 Corinthians 13 says about love. First, it says that love is patient, or love “suffers long” (v. 4). Love is not a one time, feel good act of service. It’s a long-term dedication to serve another person. The next verse says that love doesn’t insist on its own way (v. 5). When you’re a college student, it’s easy to say, “I’m independent! I’m not obligated to anyone.” While it is important to devote time to yourself and your schoolwork, God doesn’t excuse us from making time to love others in need.

Obviously you can’t become close friends with every person on campus. However, it is important to seek out someone in whom you can invest your time, and more importantly, your friendship. And that someone can be someone who is not a believer yet. Romans 12:9 (ESV) says to “let love be genuine.” Let’s show others the love of Jesus by loving for the long run.

Rachel Sinclair writes from Birmingham, Alabama, and loves to share people’s stories. Contact her at rsinclai@samford.edu.

Age Level: 
Back to Top