Monday, February 9, 2015

Love is not self seeking

It may have been a bad idea to try to write about love every day this month.  This is harder than I thought.

So I'm going to milk 1 Corinthians 13 for awhile.

~1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)
[Love] does not dishonor others, 
it is not self-seeking, 
it is not easily angered, 
it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not dishonor others. 
Usually when we put somebody down, 
it's because we are trying to build ourselves up.
Of course, this doesn't work.
Dishonoring someone generally reflects badly on the one doing the putting-down.
Love guards the honor of others,
even when the honor is undeserved,
especially when the honor is undeserved.

Love is not self-seeking.
This is so hard to internalize.
We think we are supposed to be happy.
Perhaps we are, but, nevertheless, 
happiness is never gained by grasping.
One of God's gifts to us
is that happiness comes when we obey,
when we let go of our selfishness
and find our joy in the good of others.
Self-seeking brings misery
while giving love results in joy.

Love is not easily angered.
What makes us get angry quickly?
I think two things:
unmet expectations
and imagining that people are out to get us.
We need to let go our expectations 
and be thankful for what comes.
We need to begin our interactions
by assuming that others have good motives.
We also need to remind ourselves
that we do not know the story of anybody else's day.
Perhaps the person who spilled over onto me
just experienced something awful
at the hands of someone else.
Pity, compassion and empathy
help us love better.

Love keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not bear grudges.
Love forgives.
Love releases.
Love does not seek revenge.
These are sometimes nearly impossible feats,
only possible because love trusts God
to right wrongs and watch the backs of His own beloved ones.
Love is secure in the hope of eternity 
and rests in God in the meantime.

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