How to Know Your “Why” & Love Intentionally & Authentically

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Do you know your "why?" Your purpose? I believe our "why" is to love intentionally and authentically. Everything else is just our "how."

It’s February, so you know we have to talk about love.

Okay, I’m using February as an excuse. If you’re a regular around here, you know we talk about love all the time because when you count your blessings . . . love tops the list.

Recently, our pastor shared a message about knowing your “why.”

It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with the doing of our lives we forget to live intentionally. We know “what” we have to do. We may even know “how” to do it.

But knowing “why” is harder. That’s purpose!

Afterward, Rev and I were talking and I said I believe everyone’s “why” is the same.

Love is our “why.”

I know that sounds too simple but hear me out…

When a teacher of the law asked Jesus, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:28–31

You and I were created by God and for God – to love! It’s His command. And the good news is He never leaves us on our own to figure it out. He pours His love into our lives giving us everything we need to love each other.

If love is our “why” then the rest is our “how.”  So you and I learn our unique personality, gifts, and abilities and use them to fulfill God’s plans and purposes with passion.

Our “why” may be simple, but our “how” is NOT.

I believe it takes a lifetime and courage.

“It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.” ~E.E.Cummings

And too often, fear holds us back from authentic living and loving.

We’re afraid to feel vulnerable or appear weak. We’re afraid of rejection.

And besides being afraid, we’re just plain tired and short on time.

So, here’s help.

Do you know your "why?" Your purpose? I believe our "why" is to love intentionally and authentically. Everything else is just our "how."

Loving intentionally means you and I have purposeful and planned actions that show love.

Loving authentically means our love must be – genuine; real, worthy of belief.

We need help. God’s help—His courage and strength.

7 Steps to Help You Love Intentionally and Authentically

1. Pray

When I need God’s help with anything, I have to start with prayer. I love His willingness to make me aware of His constant faithful love and to give me courage and strength when I’m afraid.

I can be so self-focused. Without God’s help, I can’t love intentionally or authentically.

2. Learn Your Love Language

Take the 5 Love Languages Profile Assessment. Knowing how I’m created to give and receive love helps me identify and understand the best ways to show love to the people God around me.

Do you know your love language?

Expressing love in the right language. We tend to speak our own love language, to express love to others in a language that would make us feel loved. But if it is not his/her primary love language, it will not mean to them what it would mean to us.” ~Gary Chapman

3. Know your strengths and weaknesses

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.

To love intentionally I need to function in my strengths and honestly work to improve my areas of weakness . . . no excuses. And on my really courageous days, I’ll ask my friends and families to help me.

“We can’t improve what we don’t assess.” ~Michael Hyatt

4. Be Yourself

Fear made me a people-pleaser for far too long. I’m learning to trust that God made me who I am for a reason but it’s hard to get over years of trying to live up to the opinions of those I love.

I’m taking 10-15 minutes every evening to reflect on my day and ask myself where I was authentic and where caved to the whims of others. Loving well means being authentic because no one else is able to love someone exactly the way God created me to love them.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

5. Be Honest

This part is never easy but I want to take my daily authenticity assessment to God. Confess where I’ve failed and ask Him to help me. What a blessing to know God promises to forgive and to help me do better.

This is hard . . . but I also want to faithfully ask those I’ve failed to forgive me.

I’m confident this important step will help me.

But if we confess our sins to God, He will keep His promise and do what is right: He will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. 1 John 1:9

Do you know your "why?" Your purpose? I believe our "why" is to love intentionally and authentically. Everything else is just our "how."

6. Set goals

Now that I know how to love well, I’ve admitted where I’ve failed and been blessed by forgiveness, it’s time to take action.

So, I’m making a list of ways I can intentionally show love to my family, friends, neighbors, and even the random people with whom I cross paths each week.

So, I’m going over what I’m about the love languages and I’m setting intentional goals for the Month of February and beyond.

“To put significance in our stories, we must also take action. Being passive may feel safe. If you do nothing, nothing can go wrong. But while inaction cannot fail, it cannot succeed either. We can wait, and hope, and wish, but if we do, we miss the stories our lives could be.” ~John C. Maxwell

7. Plan your schedule

Finally, I’m taking my goals and applying them to my schedule. I will look for ways I waste time on the unimportant and unnecessary and take purposeful actions that will bless the people I love. I’m confident that by God’s grace this effort will bless me too!

Depend on the Lord in whatever you do and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3

There is nothing new about an article that reminds us to live authentically and intentionally and it’s easy to believe that simply being uniquely ourselves is our “why.”

But without love, it’s impossible for us to be the authentic individuals God created.

We have one life. And we can only live it one moment at a time.

I want to live my “why” to God’s glory by loving intentionally and authentically.

Care to join me?

“How would your life be different if… you approached all relationships with authenticity and honesty? Let today be the day…You dedicate yourself to building relationships on the solid foundation of truth and authenticity.” ~Steve Maraboli

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  1. Cindyeliora says:

    Thank you for this encouraging post reminding us to love and to remember to be authentic and intentional about it! I’m so glad I found you on the web. I have a very new blog and so much to learn! You’re example is inspiring me as a Jesus follower as well as a blogger. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much, Cindy! You’ve truly blessed my day! I’m looking forward to coming over and visiting you. May God bless you as you share His love!

  2. Deb, What a delightful blog! I can’t wait to come back and read in more detail. I love your 7 steps and the clarity and wisdom that they bring. I’m looking forward to reading more posts and feel sure that your words will speak to my heart!

  3. February is the perfect month to practice loving others intentionally and with authenticity, Deb. Thanks for walking us through the positive steps that will take us there!

  4. Charles Stephens says:

    I heard this preached by a Christian Addiction group in CO. I returned and preached the same key message but on a little different slant. Christians, churches get all wrapped up in the how or the how much ! Like the fish and loaves Jesus is not concerned with the how or how much He is concerned with WHY — because He said so !

  5. As usual, this is great stuff, Deb!
    I love those long languages! That book has helped us so much in our marriage and in our family.
    Be loving and honest is one of the steps I’m working on.
    Thanks for always challenging me with your posts!

  6. I can always do a better job of loving intentionally and I love the practical advice you’ve outlined in this post. This is good stuff!

  7. Deb- every single one of your posts just speak so much life!!! I think it’s so important NOW more than ever to show love intentionally and authentically. Thank you for these practical tips Deb!

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