Updated: Jan 9, 2020
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hope, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Love...., we all want it, we all desire it, we all need it. Even in the midst of the craziness, it is still the universal language that connects all of us.
I often go through seasons where I have to come back to this very topic, and the lord always reveals something new to me. And yesterday morning as I was driving into work having my prayer/reflection time, I felt very strongly the Lord bringing the topic back up. Love is so deep and complex I often think he has to break it up for us to even come close to understanding it. Several scriptures kept coming to mind, but the one that really stood out was the one most of us already know 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (see above). Because I couldn't seem to shake it I decided it was probably better to wait and come back to it to process. So that is exactly what I did last night.
As I began to read over the scripture I was kind of taken back at the wording, I mean I've read this a million times and it was like I was seeing it for the very first time. Most of us already know Love is more than just a feeling, it's a choice, but even more than a choice it's actions! This scripture is full of intentional decisions that need our willingness to take action.
Making me think back to the greatest love there is, Jesus. He came to this world, gave of himself, walked hand in hand with people, spoke the truth, never judged or gave up on anyone. He just loved, and loved so much that he gave his own life so that nothing could stand between us and him!! And that love still holds true today, he never forces us to love him, he just waits patiently. Always there, willing to join alongside of us, always willing to endure, and accepting all that we are, and seeing the beauty in who he has created us to be.
Bringing me to a conviction moment, because how often and easy it is for me just to get frustrated and want to not love others. How many times have I based it off of how I was feeling or even worse the lack thereof, and just gave up on others because I didn't truly understand what it means to love. I truly believe as followers of Christ it is our duty to understand what it really means to love and to let it reflect through our actions. Scripture tells us in John 15:13 that there is no greater love then one that is willing to lay down his life for a friend. That means self-sacrificial (with healthy boundaries of course), putting others above ourselves and loving them as much as we love ourselves. Always being willing to encourage, speak the truth, endure, invest and walk beside them. To not just live life, but to do life together!
Now I know there is an exception to everything, and please hear me when I say I do not believe that this applies to unhealthy relationships, those that are toxic and are causing harm to you. Anyone in any form of an abusive relationship should not stay and endure. Loving someone doesn't mean you are their doormat, the love I'm talking about is giving of oneself wholeheartedly with healthy boundaries.
I know I have only scratched the surface with all of this but I thought I'd share a little of the insight I feel God gave me. I hope it encourages you and speaks to you, but most of all the challenges you like it has me. I hope you have an amazing day, until next time.