You Can’t Give Away Something You Don’t Have
by Joyce Meyer
Loving and being loved are what make our lives worth living. Many people experience times in their lives when they feel unloved. During these times it’s easy to dwell on those negative thoughts, but allowing it to continue leads to unhappiness and depression.
Love is the energy of life. It is what motivates people to get up each day and keep going. Love gives life purpose and meaning. Everywhere you look you see people searching for love…but they’re looking in the wrong places. God is love, and they will never find what they’re looking for until they find Him.
People look for fulfillment in life in different ways. These ways may seem good at first, but eventually the unsuccessful search will leave them feeling frustrated, disappointed and empty. The only way they can find the true fulfillment they are so desperately seeking is to choose to walk in love—to actually put love into action by reaching out and loving others.
As soon as I made a commitment to God, I began to hear people talk about the importance of loving others. Since I wanted to live my life according to the Bible, I wanted to walk in love, but I just couldn’t. I had the urge…but no power to follow through. I always made elaborate plans but couldn’t carry them out.
Unfulfilled desire is often frustrating. I felt very frustrated and wondered what was wrong with me. I was impatient with people. I was legalistic, harsh, judgmental, rude, selfish and unforgiving—and that is only the beginning of the list. The harder I tried to walk in love, the worse I became.
I began to understand that I could not love others because I had never received God’s love for me. I knew in my head that the Bible said God loved me, but I didn’t feel His love in my heart. I wondered how God could love us as imperfect as we are.
God loves us because He wants to—it pleases Him. God loves us because it’s His nature to love, and He will always love us. He doesn’t always love everything we do, but He does love us. God’s love is unconditional. In fact, there’s nothing we can do to ever escape His love. God’s love is the power that forgives our sins, heals our emotional wounds, and mends our broken hearts.
Over time I came to realize that I am deeply loved by God simply for who I am, not because of any work I could do for Him. I could finally quit trying to earn His love by doing things I thought would make me more worthy of His love.
Once I began receiving God’s awesome, unconditional love, I was able to start loving Him in return and reach out to others more freely in love. Because God’s never-ending love was in me, I could give it to others without fear of ever running out.
Everyone in the world wants to be loved and accepted. And the love of God—that wonderful gift He freely gives us—satisfies that need. His love flows to us, and then it should flow through us to other people.
Now I see myself as a container full of blessings. I want to be the type of person who can pour out God’s love into the lives of the people around me. I’ve found that I’m always happier when I choose to make others happy.
In the Bible, God calls Christians the salt of the earth (see Matthew 5:13). He expects us to “season” the lives of those around us. All of life is tasteless without love. Love is the salt, the energy of life, and the reason to get up every morning.
Every day can be exciting if we see ourselves as God’s secret agents, waiting to sprinkle a little salt on all the lives we encounter. And we know that because we are deeply loved by God, we can never run out of love—no matter how much we give away.