Monday, June 22, 2009

Love does...

We, as women, tend to think we have this "love" thing wrapped up.  God made us to love, right?  I hear many, many women say "In spite of all he has done, I really love him."  I want to consider for a bit what is God's description of love.  First of all, 10 or 15 years ago, I did a Scripture search on love and discovered that it was a verb.  Love is an action, not a feeling.  That is so foreign to our American way of thinking, especially us romantics.  Love is an action.  It is a choice of our will.  You can't will yourself to feel anything, but you can will to love.  
1 Corinthians 13: 1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.    4Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.    8Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.    11When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.    13And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I think the first thing we have to notice is that I can do a lot of wonderful things and look great, but if I lack Christ-love as described in 1 Corinthians 13, I AM NOTHING, NOTHING.  That is pretty strong language Paul uses.    Secondly,  I have to ask myself, am I patient? (long-suffering), am I kind? Am I envious? Am I proud? Am I rude? Am I self-seeking?  Do I get angry easily? Do I think the best or the worst?  Do I rejoice in the truth even when it hurts me?  Does my love come and go?  Does my love lose hope? 

Love does not mean covering your eyes in the light of sin.  It does not mean enabling a person to continue in their sin. I think too often we think by letting our loved one "off the hook" it is demonstrating our love. Not always.  Sometimes removing the consequences of a person's sin is more an evidence of your idolatry of that person than evidence of your Christ-love for that person.

Let me encourage you to take up the challenge.  Read 1 Corinthians 13 every day for 30 days.  If you're bold-memorize it.  Let it guide your love.  

Christ is at work in you making you more and more like Him.  


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