Because, when it comes down to it, this life is meant to live completely and wholeheartedly for God and His Kingdom. As a follower of Him, I am called to serve Him, to seek His Kingdom first, and to share the Gospel with others.
Most of all, as I grow in my relationship with Christ, I must learn to imitate Him in everything. God is love. If God is love, and I am here to live like Christ and help lead others to Him, then I must love.
The same goes for all of us. Genuine love doesn't love those who are easy to love, but it loves even those who are the hardest to love.
Even if that means loving the person who doesn't have a friend. The kid that people tease. Even the kid who others just consider "super weird" or annoying.
Even if that means loving the person who hurt you in the past, even if it is the one who you vowed to never speak to again.
We fail God daily. We are all sinful, yet God's love doesn't end. Just when we think we are too far gone to be loved by a perfect God, His arms are open and waiting for us to come back to Him. He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. If God, who is holy and perfect and who is the ultimate Judge, loved us despite all that we have done, then we are fully capable of loving others.
As a teenager heading towards the doors of my senior year, God has called me to walk in the way of love.
Not in the way of hate, or of gossip, or of hurt, or of popularity, or of pride, or even of success.
I am called to love.
So the question of "What do people think when they hear my name?" has been bringing me to the foot of the cross and to a God who loves even when we are undeserving. It is bringing me to a point where I want to be remembered because of my love for others--a love that resembles the love of Christ.
When people hear my name, I want them to think:
"She is so, so, nice to everyone."
"She is one of the kindest girls I know."
and most of all: "She is a Christian, and really loves like Jesus would love."
I fail. I know that many people do not think these thoughts, but I have been growing in my relationship with Jesus and therefore my love towards others, and I know that God is strengthening me in my weaknesses.
Not only that, but the trap of people pleasing can also collide with a genuine Jesus-kind of love. A people pleaser may love others and extend kindness to everyone they meet, but the difference between a people pleasing love and a love based on the love of Jesus is the reasoning. While a people pleaser would be kind in order to be loved and accepted by others, and avoid conflict, a follower of Jesus who loves, not in order to people please, but to be like Jesus, would be kind even when the conflict comes, even when people are rude, and especially when nobody is watching. Not to avoid conflict, because conflict is likely to happen when we love a world who doesn't know Jesus.
How do you tell the difference? When we live the life God has called us to live, it will be evident to others. Others will experience who Jesus is when you love like Him.
So as senior year approaches, my focus needs to be placed on 'walking in the way of love', even when others don't respond with love in return.
The question is: How will you be remembered? By your looks, success, or personality? Rather, does the way you live your life point to Jesus? If not, what are you going to do about it?
If Jesus is love, and we are called to be like Him...
then it's time to start living. It's time to love.