“Love is patient and kind” scripture tells us.
“Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude” Paul wrote.
“It does not demand its own way” God’s word declares.
“It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged” the Good Book states.
How’s YOUR love game?
We hear these words so often at weddings and that’s a good thing. The melding of two lives into one is a tricky task. It requires the give-and-take of real love.
The kind of love God gives us.
Yep. We’re pretty hard for God to stomach sometimes.
Yet He doesn’t just pinch our heads off! Instead He patiently calls us out of the poor choices we’re making and the looming consequences of those choices. He kindly provides a path for us to follow and His Spirit to walk with us.
God gives us an example of pure love that cherishes the person regardless of the acts. His love is rooted in the purest holiness and truth. When we are within its reach, wrapped in its warmth, we understand the errors we have chosen and for many of us, change happens. Some choose to step out of that loving embrace, choosing self and sin instead.
Paul wrote these words, prompted by the Holy Spirit, to the Christians at Corinth as a guide for how to treat others. He likely had the two greatest commandments Jesus had spoken in the back of his mind: Love God with all you are and love others as you do yourself.
Our world is quite similar to Corinth of that day. Worldwide crossroads – we’re so connected! Not by actual roads, but by wireless signals that stretch across the globe. Commerce driven – they sold and resold tons of various goods, we do too. Cultural diversity born of those buyers and sellers coming and going. Busy night and day satisfying needs, wants, and desires. Oftentimes at the expense of the personhood of the buyer and/or seller – or both.
Those who follow Jesus are called to a higher plane. Yes, we can buy, sell, and trade! Yes, we can engage people; we’re supposed to.
Our engagements with people are supposed to be different, though.
• Patient and kind.
• Never jealous, boasting, proud or rude.
• Never demanding our own way.
• Never irritable.
• Never keeping a ledger of wrongs
From children to the elderly, this is how we’re to treat people: from a place of love.
Whether they look like us or not.
Whether they believe like us or not.
Whether they love like us or not.
Even if they’re in the left lane driving slow or don’t use their turn signal.
Even if they stop in front of the grocery aisle we need to get to.
Even if they look weird to us.
We will never encounter another human being who is not created in God’s image with a God-purpose deep in their DNA, no matter how they believe or act.
Sometimes our love is so simple. A smile, a hello, an encouraging word. Sometimes it’s truth that person desperately needs to hear.
The trouble is, like so many things in the Believer’s walk, we try to do it in our own power, and we just can’t do it.
Oh, I can be patient and kind, right up until I get in the car alone. Then I look like an enraged bear, my mouth snapping, teeth bared, head moving back and forth. UNLESS I have surrendered me to the Lord, letting Him do the work in me causing me to love beyond myself.
This love thing is so HARD!
This love thing is so EASY!
Let’s give it a try today. Let’s look at every person as a one and only special creation of God in His image and cherish them just for that.
Let’s do this for our spouse, our parents, our children, our siblings, our church, and every stranger we come in contact with.
Let’s choose to toss out the ledger we’ve been keeping. You know, that mental list of everything he/she has done that just irritated us to death? Toss it into the flames of chosen forgetfulness, forgiving them as it lands.
Let’s choose to surrender to Jesus and keep our hands off the reins that direct and guide us.
Let’s up this love game to God-sized, then do it all again tomorrow until forever.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.