What's love got to do with it? Love has EVERYTHING to do with it! No matter what the situation is, love should be your primary motivation and your only real consideration.
Let's take your relationships with others for starters. Do people enjoy you? Are you the kind of person people love to be with? Are you the kind of person who makes people feel relaxed, comfortable and accepted? Or are you a person who tends to easily pick out the faults and flaws in others? If your friends or family don't do everything just right, do you want to be the one who sets them straight? You may be the kind of person people resist being around because you focus on the things they are doing wrong instead of the things they are doing right.
On the other hand, are you a person of grace and mercy? When others make mistakes around you, do you tend to be the type of person who simply says, "Hey, that's okay; we all make mistakes." How you respond to others has much more to do with attitude than it does personality. Ultimately, love makes all the difference.
You see, once we understand just how much Jesus did for us—the lengths He went to in order to forgive us—it's much easier for us to have a better attitude toward other people in our lives. We are less judgmental and less apt to find fault. We forgive others more quickly when we clearly see Jesus for who He is…the One who knows us best and still loves us most.
Think about it for minute… You know that Jesus died for you. But think about everything He suffered before He died. Consider the beatings, the ridicule, and the physical pain He experienced. He went through all of that for you. He became sin on your behalf. He did it because He loves you!
He didn't go through any of that just to give us a religion. He didn't do it so we could have churches to worship in or so we could have rules to live under. All that He went through was done so we could be free from sin and love others the way He loves us. When we are able to see that clearly, we can love others openly and honestly instead of clinging to a legalistic or religious view of things, holding others to a much harsher standard than we hold ourselves to.
In my case, my attitude toward others didn't change until my attitude toward God changed. For so many years I wasn't comfortable with God. I grew up with an abusive father, so my picture of what a loving father should be was warped from the start. The abuse from my father went on for a very long time. To make matters even worse, he was mean. He was very difficult and very judgmental. I lived under the oppression of feeling that I could never do anything right. For over eighteen years, I lived in fear of what would happen next time I did something my father didn't approve of. The result was that it was hard for me to even comprehend the concept of a heavenly Father Who loves me unconditionally with no strings attached.
When I really began to understand His love for me, my attitude began to change. I still remember how wonderful it was to get up in the morning and simply be able to say, "Good morning, Lord! I love You" without wrestling with my own feelings of inadequacy. God's love has made all the difference in my life.
And when I was able to accept and embrace God's unconditional love for me, my attitude toward others finally began to change. I was no longer religious and judgmental. I didn't nitpick at the faults and shortcomings of everyone. I was able to accept my friends and family for who God made them to be without expecting them to change just for me. I was able to relax and become more fun to be around. People started to like me!
So, what's love got to do with it? God's love has everything to do with it!