Everyone wants true love but most of us don’t want to offer true love. What is true love? If we believe the movies and romance novels, true love is all about feelings and passion. It is all about how I feel. But feelings are fickle and very self focused. Even the supposedly profound statement “I love you but I am not in love with you” is trite at best. If we truly love someone we want to love them the way God loves us. Which is?
Well if we believe 1 Corinthians 13 true love goes more like this. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Now find the feeling word or words in the prior definition. There is certainly room for passion as a part of love but not once does Paul use that attribute when he is describing for us the kind of love we are to have for others.
So how does that help us become more loving at home, at church and even at work? I would like us all to spend now until Easter focusing on love God’s way. So this is what I want us to do together. Everyday read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 with someone in mind.
- On Sunday, the first day of the week, I want us to read it twice with God in mind. The first time thinking of how God loves this way. The second time asking myself how well I love God this way.
- On Monday read it once with our family in mind. Who are we loving well? Who are we loving poorly? How can God help us to love them better?
- On Tuesday read it once with our close friends in mind asking the same questions as above.
- On Wednesday read it once with our churh family in mind. Who irritates us? Who do we criticize? How can we love those in our church family better?
- On Thursday read it once with our neighbors in mind. By neighbors I mean those who live around us.
- On Friday read it once with our co-workers or if we are not working or retired, with those we are in a social or hobby group with.
- On Saturday read it with the world in mind. How do my fears in prejudices stand in the way of me loving those I don’t know personally in the way Jesus loves them.
Please do your readings aloud. There is something about actually saying the words audibly that make them more powerful in our lives. And, each day let’s ask for God the Holy Spirit to give us love for others as we hear the demands of love.