There is a simple solution to a lack of love. When we increase our faith, we increase our love.
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
Galatians 5:6 NIV
The Bible says that love is a result of the faith we have.
When I was in elementary school, I loved baseball and had been playing since I was 5 years old. Every time I stepped up to the plate I wanted to hit a home run, but I would be afraid of being hit by the ball and stepped away barely swinging. Earlier that year I had seen my teammate get hit in the face by a pitch and I couldn’t get that painful image out of my mind. Whenever I would attempt to swing I would believe I was going to get hit instead of believing I was going to crack a home run.
This experience illustrates how my attempts to love often fall short. I know love is the right thing to do and sometimes even want to do it, but I can’t because I don’t always believe love will work out – I’m too afraid of getting hit in the face.
Love is difficult when I don’t have faith that God can come through, change me or others, or do the possible. When I have no faith, I am thinking of how to protect myself or of worst-case-scenarios instead of how God can make anything happen. When we have faith in God, we love big! If you are having a hard time figuring out why you are unloving, it may be because you have no faith. God can give us faith and teach us how to love.
Love Is Faith In Action
“My dear brothers and sisters, what good is it if someone claims to have faith but demonstrates no good works to prove it? How could this kind of faith save anyone? 15 For example, if a brother or sister in the faith is poorly clothed and hungry 16 and you leave them saying, “Good-bye. I hope you stay warm and have plenty to eat,” but you don’t provide them with a coat or even a cup of soup, what good is your faith? 17 So then faith that doesn’t involve action is phony. 18 But someone might object and say, “One person has faith and another person has works.” Go ahead then and prove to me that you have faith without works and I will show you faith by my works as proof that I believe.”
James 2:14-18 TPT
Though this scripture doesn’t use the word “love” explicitly, the acts of serving others, providing clothing and food, and helping meet their needs are all acts of love. These acts of love are indicators of our faith. Is your faith real? Though it is easy to theoretically make the statement that we have faith, the Bible says that simply saying you have faith means nothing. Real faith takes action to do good for others.
I believe basketball is the greatest sport. I played basketball all the time growing up, I watch basketball to this day, I have coached basketball, and in recent years I play fantasy basketball. If I told you “I love basketball,” but never played, watched or thought about the sport I would be a phony basketball fan. It is the same way with faith!
In 2 Peter 1:5-9, the Bible instructs us to continually add to our faith, which ultimately leads to love, and if we do not we will be ‘ineffective and unproductive’ in our knowledge of Christ. Faith is not stagnant. It is something we continuously need to grow and feed. When we don’t have faith, our lives end up being a bunch of words or intentions instead of actual love in action.
Without faith we keep people at a distance, because we are afraid of getting hurt. Without faith we don’t sacrifice for fear that our lives won’t be taken care of if we do. Without faith we might do something to relieve our guilty conscience, but not enough to meet the needs of those in need around us. Without faith we harden our hearts, callously going through the religious motions of church and maybe reading the Bible, but do not obey what God says to do in the Bible, which is to love.
When we have faith, we love because we believe it is worth it. And when we love we do everything we can to help someone in need around us, whether that be a physical, emotional, relational, or spiritual need.
How great is your love right now?
What does your level of love and care show about your faith?
Reflect: When you have loved, what did you believe at the time?
There are three choices we can make today to increase our faith and become the loving people God destined us to be.
Believe in God’s love
The love God has for us gives us the faith needed to love others in a way that lasts.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
1 John 4:7-12 NIV
When we truly believe God loves us to the extent explained in this scripture, we have the faith needed to love the way he did. The sacrifice God was willing to endure for us is one that is unmatched. In order to truly understand this love, we have to continuously understand and remember what Jesus died for.
As a kid, for nearly a decade, I did gymnastics. So when my daughter had a birthday party at a gym, I foolishly thought I could easily do a round-off. My subsequent pulled hamstring that had me trying to hide a limp off the floor proved otherwise.
Much like remaining in shape requires more than the memory of past workouts, our understanding of God’s love requires a consistent awareness of your need for His forgiveness and love. When we become unaware or unmoved by the consequences of our sins, both past and present, we lose the faith needed to love. God’s love is experienced when we remember how incredibly lucky we are to have it.
Do you experience how much God loves you?
What sins do you need to acknowledge to experience God’s love?
How do you allow past success or failure from keeping you from growing today?
Believe God teaches us to love
Regardless of where your love is at now, God can teach you to love!
“Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.  And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more,”
1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 NIV
God’s speciality is love! If you want to learn how to love there is no one better to learn from than him. Learning to love from God is like learning to play basketball from Michael Jordan or the piano from Mozart. God can teach the most selfish person how to love. Choose to believe He can, learn from Him, and He will!
Do you let God teach you?
How can you embrace God’s teaching to increase your faith and love?
What needs to change about your times with God so your faith can be built?
Believe God puts people in our lives to love
Like all kids, my children can have their moments of tantruming. When I am rested and unanxious, I can handle the moment with surprising calmness. But when I am tired and/or anxious, that same fit sends me into a tailspin of anger and frustration. Just like my fatigue shapes the way I handle my kids, our faith determines how we see people. When we have faith in God and his love we see people through the lens of love.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
When we have a close relationship with God where we believe he deeply loves us and can help us conquer anything, we have all we need to love anyone no matter when or what they are going through. When we have a persistent faith through the hard days, a humble faith during the good, the love we have and show will be consistent. God places people in our lives that we are meant to help, care for, and love. This faith in God’s purpose for us motivates us to live out our destiny, which is to love!
Is love a characteristic that best describes you?
Are you able to comfort people in hard times and give them faith?