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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of July 23, 2018

I can't give away what I don't have: If I can't love others, it's because I don't know that God loves me.

It is obvious that in order to give away money, you must have money to give away, and in order to give away a car, you must have a car to give away. Likewise, in order to give away love, you must have love to give away.

That love -- true love -- can come only from God, for he is the only source of unconditional love. As followers of Christ, we are instructed to let God's love flow through us to the world: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (John 13:34).

You are to love others as God loves you. However, if you don't know how much God loves you, then you can't love one another.

Leviticus 19:18 says, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Again, if you don't have love in you (for yourself and for God), then you can't love others.

So, if you're having trouble loving others, it's probably because you don't know how much God loves you.

Joyful living requires giving.

Most people are selfish and self-centered, focusing only on what benefits them. Such thinking claims that the more you have, the more you accumulate, and the more attention you receive, the happier you'll be.

Yet, most of the time, such selfishness only makes a person more depressed than ever. This is because when all you focus on is yourself, you'll always want more, and you'll never be satisfied with what you have. On the other hand, if you live focused on how you can bless others and serve them, then God will give you joy.

It is no surprise, therefore, that Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

Likewise, in John 13:1-17 Jesus is seen washing his disciples' feet; he sets an example by humbly giving himself to his disciples. Then, in John 13:17, Jesus tells them, "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." In other words, you will be blessed, which in the Greek has the meaning of being happy, if you give and serve others. The Bible makes it clear that joyful living requires giving.

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