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Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Musings - True Love

I've been reading through 1st Corinthians this month and I finally came to chapter 13 - the LOVE chapter.  Well, it is referred to that way quite often.  It is used in a lot of weddings and it appears on posters, pinterest and facebook.  I imagine that some who have used it don't even know it comes from the Bible. 

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.   Love never fails . . .

I love this passage too.  It sets a high standard.  The reality of living this out is pretty tough. How do I practically do this?

*Love is patient:  stop, think, breathe, cut some slack, assume the best . . .

*Love is kind:  It is the little things that communicate kindness.  These are often things that no one else would even notice, except for the person who receives the kindness.  To that one - it is HUGE.

*Love is not jealous:  I want to be a cheerleader for the success and happiness of others.  I want to rest assured that if God didn't give it to me, I don't need it.  I can rest in His sufficiency.

*Love does not brag, is not arrogant:  This is where the passage shifts from love is to love is not.  Sometimes, something is best defined by eliminating what it is not. There are few things more unattractive than bragging and boasting.  Additionally, I don't have anything to boast or brag about.  Anything good in me is of the Lord, not myself.  Anytime I find myself doing this, I know that insecurity is rearing its ugly head.

*Love does not act unbecomingly:  Hmmm . . . does my behavior communicate my love for others?

*Love does not seek its own:  Oh, selfishness, self-centeredness, self absorption . . . BOO  How about selflessness, humility, and the desire to yield.

*Love is not provoked:  How easily am I angered?  frustrated?  Can I see behind the behavior of another to their hurt, anger or disappointment?

*Love does not take into account a wrong suffered:  This one is hard.  Past hurts and heartaches can somehow jump to the forefront of my mind.  I want to be someone who readily forgives, does not harbor anger and does not allow bitterness to settle into my soul.  It is my own heart that suffers when I allow this.

*Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth:  Here, we see what love is not and what it is.  What captures my attention?  Is is all the Hollywood gossip with the latest split up and scandal, the drama and trauma of those I know - or am I rejoicing in the truth of God's goodness and His Word?  I want to choose the Truth.

*Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things:  I want to always see the best in others, hang in there even when the going gets rough and believe in the transformational power of Jesus in my life, as well as, in the lives of others.  Hanging in there with people and journeying along side of them is sometimes very difficult and draining.  But, it is the call of love.

*Love never fails:  While I fail numerous times - the love of Jesus never fails.  His death on the cross and His resurrection cover my multitude of sins.  His love is more powerful than my lack and because of that -- others will be able to see His love even in my weaknesses.

Love never fails.

Jesus never fails.

Amazing love, how can it be
That you, my King, would die for me
Amazing love, I know its true
It's my joy to honor You

How will you show love this week?

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