Thank you, Lord, for all that you are doing in me, working in me both to will, and to do, of your good pleasure. Everything that you are doing in me is for love. Those things that feel like chastening, like having to go without something I want, those things are to help me become more ready and able to love. If as soon as I get a paycheck I go out and buy extravagant food far more than I need, and then I don’t like that I have gained weight, all that money went to a few moments of chewing and swallowing and some time of more weight on me than I would like, or clothes being too tight, and that money is not available to help the person I see who is in deep financial need because he can’t make rent or buy food for his family. If I say “no” to buying those superfluous things, with the aim of trying to be more righteous, I get this no-good self-righteous feeling, or I feel like I am being deprived and denying myself so much or something ridiculous like that. But if I let you, Lord, remove from me the habit of or the appetite for the excess food, then that money would be available to help someone in need, which is loving in deed. (And I wouldn’t feel like I am depriving myself to do it, which tempts me to pride or feeling sorry for myself.)
This is just one example of “It’s all about love,” but I bet if one were to look at whatever you, Lord, are doing in her life, she would be able to perceive that it is about love in the long run. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” All that God calls righteous is for love. God is love. Any area of our lives where we are not walking righteously, hinders or prevents love.
Praise you, Lord, for you are good, for your mercy endures for ever.
In the name of Jesus Christ, who demonstrates perfect love, Amen.