I was listening to a song the other day while I was driving in my car. If I recall correctly, it was Dirty Water by Lecrae. One of the lines said “If I ain’t ‘bout that life then I ain’t really livin,”. It caught my attention and with the way that my thought process works, I started thinking about the word “live” and how closely it relates to the word “love”. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that their only difference is one letter.
Living is something more complicated than just breathing and consuming water and calories. It’s something that we all strive to do through the things we do, places we go, and people we connect with. Loving is something that we do through our actions and words. At the root, live and love seem pretty similar. One letter doesn’t seem to make that much of a difference.
When I think about the ways that I show love and the ways that love is shown to me, I don’t think of just feelings or just words that are spoken because we all know that words and feelings can fall short and can be comprised of temporary things. I think about the things I do for people to help show them my love. When I think of those things that I do, they’re associated with the way I live. I’m always trying to sync up the way that I love people through my emotions and feelings with my actions. If I say that I love someone but never show them that I do, after a short while, they start to doubt that I love them. The saying “Actions speak louder than words” rings very true.
Often times, we associate living with taking a walk on the beach, riding crazy roller coasters that make you scream so loud that you damage the ears of the person next to you, seeing Big Ben in London, going to the championship football game, or even going to an loud, crazy concert. While those things are incredible and I encourage you to do them all, they aren’t what makes you live. Living is when you surprise someone you love with a trip to their favorite beach, go on a roller coaster you hate to see your best friend laugh, take a trip to London to see the sights that you don’t care to see, but to see the smile on your little sister’s face when she sees the place she’s always dreamed of visiting, and so on. It’s doing the little things that are might seem little to you, but are huge to the people around you. It’s buying someone dinner when they otherwise would go hungry. It’s staying up until 3 in the morning to help a friend from school through a life problem. It’s taking someone flowers when they’ve had a rough day. My point is that living is doing things for other people..loving them through our actions, words, thoughts, and emotions. There is no greater feeling than doing something from someone other than yourself. It’s cliché, I know, but it couldn’t be more true.
Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “This chick thinks that love is all daisies and roses.” While I wish love was that simple, it isn’t. Love doesn’t come without it’s hard times. While you might have to do some unpleasant tasks such as clean up blood off of the floor when your child gets injured, stay up late until your sister gets home to make sure she got back safe, confront a friend about a concern you have for them, or even try to work out a big problem with a spouse of friend. Those things can be unpleasant and difficult, but love isn’t just shown through doing good things for people; it’s shown when we go through hard times, tasks, and situations for them, too. Doing good things for others, helping them through rough times, staying up late for them, going the extra mile to see them smile, or just being there to listen when they need someone to talk to…all of these things display love.
For me, living a life that is modeled after the life of Christ is something that helps me love deeper. Christ showed me love when He saved me, thus, I have no other drive in life but to love others. Without that love and sacrifice that I was shown, I couldn’t have even a portion of the love and willingness to sacrifice myself and resources for others. It’s all because of the example I’ve been shown that I’m able to love on others in the biggest capacity.
I’ll stop talking, now, because I’m sure you get the point I’m trying to make. From what I’ve come to understand, living is loving and it’s just that simple.