To Love God Means to Love Others

Willow Creek | January 11, 2022

This past weekend, Dave Dummitt launched our series, We Are Willow, with a message called “Love God.” There are many ways we can show our love for God: by respecting ourselves, serving and volunteering, being generous, but one of the most difficult–and yet most profound–ways we can love God is by loving others.

There are simple ways we can illustrate loving God: offering a tithe, praying, volunteering at a service, and these are all important, but in our lives, these are often put in a specific box. We have our work box, family box, social box, and the like. When it comes to praying, tithing, and volunteering, maybe that’s all in the “church box,” and our love for God doesn’t much stem past that. It’s great we have our “church box,” but when we say we love God–truly love God–that love should impact all of our boxes and every nook and cranny of our lives.

So many of us love God on Sundays but live our lives how we want Monday through Saturday. But when Sunday comes around, we reach into our “church box” and pull out our tithes, praying hands, and volunteer shirts. What about the other boxes? We act cut-throat instead of gracious at our jobs, we’re gruff instead of patient with our families, and we’re vulgar instead of joyful with our friends. But if we say we love God, why doesn’t our love for Him influence every area of our lives? 

True love for God is radical and life-changing; it can’t be compartmentalized and pulled out only on Sundays. When we say we love God and love Him wholly, that love transforms our lives to a point where we’re no longer living for ourselves but living for Him. 

In Matthew 25:40, we’re told whatever good we do on earth in God’s name, it’s as if we’re doing it for Him. It’s a type of love that can’t be contained in a box; it breaks free and gushes into every area of our lives. When we surrender entirely to God and let His love wash over us, His love will spread to others through us. His love will radiate through us in our work, family, and social lives. It won’t be a love that lives only on Sundays, but through every day in every breath that we take. 

As we continue early on into this new year, let’s pledge to love God, read His Word, and let His light shine brightly through us to everyone we encounter.

Click here to read more on what it means to love God and serve others.