In Romans 12:20-21 we read: “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Of all the forces in the universe, love is the most powerful. It is more powerful than physical force, sarcasm, or argument. Let us consider the power of love from three different views. First of all is the reaction of the power of love on ourselves. Every emotion, good or bad, reacts upon us as we experience it. The man we hate suffers as a result of our hatred, but certainly not to the degree that we suffer. There is no way in which we can hurt a brother without hurting ourselves. Hatred is mental poison, which destroys the finest qualities of the soul.
On the other hand, the man we love is blessed by our love, but not to the degree that we are blessed (Acts 20:35) “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
We cannot help a fellow man without helping ourselves. Though our love may fail to touch the enemy’s heart, it is never in vain, for it purifies us, (Romans 13:8-10) “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” It also makes us more like God. (1 John 4:8) “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
We need also to examine the power of love on our fellow man. When other people become aware of our love, happy results follow. Love disarms the foe, hushes the cynic, and puts the enemy to shame. When drastic methods fail, as they always do, love wins. (Proverbs 15:1) “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
While hatred drives people from us, love draws them to us; and it not only draws them, but it also binds people to us. (Colossians 2:2) “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;” Love, then, is the element that preserves the unity of God’s people. Love may be said to ennoble, to encourage, to stabilize. Love makes life worth living.
Finally, there is the power of love on God. Love causes the great Spiritual Force in the universe to operate in our favour. It reaches up and takes hold of the throne of the Almighty and moves it. It is in the loving heart that God takes up His abode. (John 14:23) “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
By deeds of love, the Divine memory is refreshed, (Hebrews 6:10) “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Romans 8:28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Though we are weak, a mighty force is within our grasp. Let us take it and use it—not selfishly, for when the element of selfishness enters it ceases to be love. Life is sweeter, the circle of our influence is wider, and we are more powerful when love motivates us. Love makes us kings in our realm. (Galatians 5:6) “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availed any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love”
Let us make proper application of the power of love. In order to do that, we must be reminded that this love is centered in God and His will for our lives.
The love you give to others
Is returned to you by the Lord….
And the love of God
Is your soul’s rich reward.
~ Helen Steiner Rice
One man gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
Another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.