"Loving others"

It was such a dilemma, whether or not to marry the man who had proposed to me, that I agonized over what to do for nearly a year. During that time, I read dozens of relationship books, sought advice from counselors and pastors, and listened to scores of married friends explain how they "just knew" when faced with the same decision.

Ultimately, my fiancé and I ended our engagement. Though calling off the wedding was the right step for us, I later felt deep remorse over things I had thought, said, and done during our relationship.

I was so consumed about my life and my future, I frequently resembled the self-centered people described in Proverbs 18:1-2: "Unfriendly people care only about themselves; they lash out at common sense. Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions."

Have you ever been guilty, as I have, of hurting the very person(s) you care about the most? Have you, as I have on too many occasions, acted in contradiction to Ephesians 4:2, which states, "Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love." Too many times when jealousy consumes, anger invades, or fear prevails, I resort to thinking only of myself. I become the antithesis of the loving and gentle Christian woman I am called to be and long to be (1 Thessalonians 4:9).

As you and I increasingly look to Jesus, turn to His Word, and rely on His Holy Spirit, we will inflict less unnecessary pain on others. He modeled how to "act with love and justice" (Hosea 12:6) by giving up His life for us (John 3:16; 1 John 3:16). Let's follow Jesus' example and love Him and others well (1 Thess. 4:10). , Roxanne Robbins, Our Daily Journey

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