Chip and Dan Heath wrote a terrific book called Switch, subtitled, How to Change Things When Change is Hard. If you are a leader or a worker in an organization undergoing change, this is necessary read. Chip and Dan make a point that self-control is an exhaustible resource. They share an experiment that proves the point. Researchers divided college students into two groups and placed them in a room with two bowls: one contained chocolate and chocolate-chip cookies while the other contained radishes. One group could only eat the cookies; the other group could only eat the radishes. The researchers then left the room to induce temptation. Fortunately, all the participants followed the rules. Next each group received a series of unsolvable puzzles. The group that ate the chocolate spent nineteen minutes on the task making 34 attempts to solve the challenge. The radish eaters gave up after only eight minutes and 19 solution attempts. Why did this latter group quit so quickly? They used up self-control by not eating the chocolate!
1 Peter 4:8—Above all, keep your love for one another at full strength, since love covers a multitude of sins.
It is time for a new coined word--lovemic (lov·e·mic). Lovemic describes a condition of feeble love, a degradation of love in desire and quality. That Peter had to encourage his fellow Christians to keep their love for one another at full strength implies that their affection was sometimes lacking. Similarly, Paul wrote the Thessalonians, “Brothers, do not grow weary in doing good” (2 Th. 3:13). The fuel for doing good is love as we learn from Paul’s challenge to the Corinthian believers, “Your every action must be done with love” (16:14).
Do we agree that there are times when we are lovemic? So how do we keep motivated to love God, our enemies, family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors? How do we avoid becoming weary of putting others before ourselves? How do we consistently dispense mercy and provide care? The two greatest commandments in Scripture require high-quality love (see Mat. 22:37-39). However, knowing a command and keeping it is not necessarily easy.
May I suggest that Jesus gives us the answer in John 15:9, when He says, "As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love.” Jesus’ ability to love was at full capacity because He drew from the inexhaustible love of His Father. When we draw from the limitless love of Jesus, we also are able to extend love. Are you tired and don’t feel like loving? Call on Jesus--draw your strength from Him. Are you frustrated and sick of dealing with sinful people? Call on Jesus--draw your strength from Him. Jesus loves me this I know and from my life, it should show. Left to our own power, love like self-control is a diminishing commodity. Plugged into Jesus, we have a limitless charge. Does this mean we don’t need to rest or get away? Of course not! The key to Jesus’ success was His faithfulness in drawing from His Father. The key to our success is our reliance upon His Son! Remain in His love!
I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.—Mother Theresa
©2010 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)