05 April, 2016

How to Say 'I Love You' - Guest Post

I’ve been following Janie’s blog for a while now, and always enjoy reading her posts, so it was exciting when she contacted me about swapping guest posts. And after reading through what she wrote for this post, I realized just how privileged I am to have her words grace this blog. I hope you're blessed and challenged by them too, and Janie, thank you so much for suggesting this idea, and for sharing such a powerful post!


Lately, I have been asking God to show me how to love others well. He answers with a vision of the cross. There is blood and agony, nails and thorns and mockery. There is a deep darkness of my sin laid upon the only sinless person to walk this earth.

This is how you know what love is; that Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that love and humility and sacrifice are inseparably intertwined. This is how God chose to reach out to us: Through a baby born in a stable. Through a life of frequent rejection. Through betrayal. Through an unjust trial and the degradation of a criminal's death.

This, then, is how I am to love.

I am to step through the door that Christ opened on the cross; that door into the Holy Place where I may begin to see others with God's eyes and feel for them what He feels. Where the love of Christ compels me. Where I no longer live for myself, but for the One who died for me and was raised again. Where I, who have been rescued from a life of selfish meaninglessness, am free to let offences and disagreements be expiated by that supreme sacrifice on the cross.

Where I can rejoice in affliction.
Where it is my delight to lay down my own will.
Where humility is glory and service is leadership.

God, in Jesus, is the embodiment of the most perfect of all loves.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

How do I love others well?

By laying down my life for those around me at every opportunity.

By thinking kindly, speaking graciously, responding patiently and acting unselfishly. By putting down offences and grudges and pride as soon as I find myself carrying them. By recognizing the image of God in all those around me and granting it the respect and consideration it deserves.

By coming, again and again, to the foot of the cross and allowing the fullness of true love to wash over me and permeate my entire being. By being firm in the knowledge that, no matter how difficult the situation, I have the power to love because He loved me first, and that love never fails.


Caileigh Jane (Janie to most of her friends) has been described as an 80 year-old woman trapped in a 23 year-old body. She may have gotten a little too excited when she started discovering gray hairs. She loves to bake, do all manner of arts and crafts, and make sure that everyone around her is well-fed and comfortable. She loves bright colors. She loves the outdoors. She loves writing. She especially loves spending quality time with other people in order to encourage, uplift, and draw them closer to her greatest love of all: Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God. On any given day, you might find her doing administrative work, reading books to kids in a silly accent, serving at a church, laughing about life's ups and downs with her friends, or navigating through crowded marketplaces and public transportation with her faulty Portuguese grammar. She blogs about her walk with God, her life in Mozambique, and occasionally her recipes at The Chronicles of Janie.


  1. Jessica, thanks so much for hosting me!

    1. And Janie, thank you so much for sharing on my blog, and for suggesting the idea! It's been great fun, and a huge blessing. :)

      Your thoughts on how to love resonate with me as well. It's been coming to my attention that real love equals giving - the entire opposite of what today's world calls love. And then to look at what the greatest embodiment of Love did - laid down His life for undeserving, ungrateful sinners - the times when it's a hard to love fade into insignificance.

      Have you read the book Kisses from Katie? This post just reminded me of a quote from there: "I believe there is only one truly courageous thing we can do with our lives: to love unconditionally. Absolutely, with all of ourselves, so much that it hurts and then more."

    2. Yes, I have read that book. Even more than the book, I find her blog both challenging and encouraging. I'm assuming that, if you've read the book, you've also read her blog. But if not, you should go check it out.

    3. Yes, I do read her blog. It is challenging and inspiring - and amazing what God can do with someone who's willing.

  2. Amen! Loved reading through that :) Thanks Janie. Reminds me of how much more I need to look at Jesus as my example in all things... Blessings!

    1. The great thing about following a living God is that He is with us in everything, and the great thing about following a God who became man is that He has already faced the trials and difficulties of our human experience.

      Thanks for your kind words!

  3. This is so beautiful! Janie, I love how you write. Thank you for inspiring me to love with the love of Christ!

    -Amanda @ Scattered Journal Pages!

    1. Thanks so much for your encouraging words.

      The love of Christ is pretty amazing, isn't it? I'm overwhelmed every time I stop and contemplate what love actually is.

  4. So, so, so beautiful and true. What a gift for words God has given you!

    1. Thanks! :D I'm so glad that you enjoyed reading.

  5. Great post Janie! And thanks for having her Jessica! :)
    I really needed to think about some of the things you wrote Janie. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh, don't thank me! It was Janie's initiation, and her post really spoke to me as well. :)

    2. Just now saw this comment. :O
      You are so welcome, Lydia. I'm glad that the words God put in my heart spoke to you, as well. All glory to Him!


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