Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Is Love Really in the Air?

It's Valentine's Day!  It's a time when everyone speaks about love and chocolate and romance.  It also seems like the marketers want you to believe that you have to get certain things for your man or lady in order to truly show your love for them.

Today I came across a subway art image that had I Corinthians 13: 4-8.

It seems to me that this verse is used a lot this time of year.  I guess, on the surface, these words can be romantic.  Have you ever really noticed, though, just how hard it is to be all of these things in this verse?

Love is patient.  
Love is kind.  
Love does not envy.  
Love does not boast.  
Love is not proud.  
Love is not rude
Love is not self-seeking.
Love is not easily angered.
Love keeps no record of wrongs
Love does not delight in evil BUT rejoices with the truth.
Love always protects.
Love always trusts.
Love always hopes.
Love always perseveres.
Love NEVER fails.

At first, when I looked at the words above, I thought, "I'm not too bad."  Then I remembered Jesus' command to "Love your enemies" in Matthew 5:44.  That changes things, doesn't it?  It did for me.  We tend to compare our shortcomings to the shortcomings of others when we really are to compare ourselves to God.  When we do that, we can then have a better understanding of our need for God's grace and mercy.  It still isn't always easy for us to do, but I know that God is asking us to offer that same grace and mercy to our family, our neighbors, and, yes, even our enemies.  I'm just going to be honest.  That last one is TOUGH!  I guess that is why, in the remainder of Matthew 5:44, he says "pray for those who persecute you." There are some people that are hard to love.  I believe Jesus tells us to pray because we can't love like this on our own.  Prayer is the necessary tool we need to fill us with the love God wants us to pour out on each other.

So - when I take into consideration the commands from the Bible to love EVERYONE and I check off my successes and failures of what love is in I Corinthians, I have failed.

I just came across this quote today and thought it fit well.

"I can't brag about my love for God because I fail Him daily.  But I can brag about His love for me because it never fails."

I love this.  I serve a God who knows my shortcomings and loves me anyway.  

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