Love

16 05 2007

Part I:The Nature of Love

“Love is patient, love is kind it does not envy it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – I Corinthians 13:4-7

Obviously, wiser people than I (not to mention God himself) have defined the exact nature of love. It’s worth being reminded of, though, especially in a culture saturated with false definitions of Love.

Personally, I find the most significant part of the above verse to be the last part. “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes always perseveres”. Then if I love you I will protect you, not just your physical person but your heart and spirit. I will be a shield against personal attack and a brother-in-arms when you wade into battle. I will always trust you, always believe in you. I will continually hope for your best good and not despair when things get difficult. Most of all if I love you as I should, I will persevere through the hard times. It is really easy to write people off when relationships get rocky but Love keeps pushing through.

I’ve said it before but, again, it’s worth reiterating. Love is NOT a feeling. Love is a succesion of choices. Lovers choose to put their beloved’s well-being ahead of their own comfort. Pause and let that sink in….. Think about what it really means.

Part II: On a More Personal Note

I don’t know about you all, but I have some issues regarding love. My issues are varied so we’ll only discuss one or two of them here.

I have no problem with the servant-hearted aspect of love. I can serve others 24/7 with little or no recognition and be peachy keen. However, I am made vastly uncomfortable when others try to serve me. If someone does something nice for me I feel that some giant scale in the sky has tipped my direction and I scramble to get it tipped back the other way.

What I learned about myself in the past couple of years is that my real problem is that I do not consider myself worthy of Love. Don’t get me wrong, my head knows that Jesus loves me for who I am, that my family gets real joy out of my existance and that people don’t hang out with me just because I’m pretty. Some of the time my heart knows it too. An easy way of thinking about it is like this; if someone were to deliver a giant bouquet of flowers to me I would have a vague, uneasy sensation that the flower-guy got the name wrong.  It’s nothing obvious but it’s an undercurrent to my life. I’m praying through it and God has been very patient with me so it will get resolved soon.

Oh ok! Something that struck me recently… I’ve always shrugged off the compliments of friends and family because in my head they were biased. They couldn’t have honest opinions of me because somehow their affection for me clouded their sensibilities. This is poppycock! Really, it’s our friends and family who are most clearly able to see our good attributes because (get this!) they can see the bad too. I was talking to my friend Jake the other day and he was telling me how much he appreciated my moral center. (Ok that’s not the words he used but I just boiled a two hour conversation down to one sentence. Work with me.) I know that that was an honest assesment because Jake also knows how much I struggle with feeling like an outsider because of that moral center. He knows that it’s hard for me to stay on the straight and narrow sometimes. Therefore, when he praises me I know that it’s Truth.

Sorry, that was random but I was very excited when I had this realization.

Part III: Requesting the Thoughts of the Public

How about all of you? What do you think is the most vital component of Love? What issues do you struggle with in your own hearts?

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One response

16 05 2007
Sam

a moral center AND personal hygiene. 🙂 ( not sure if that is spelled right, but can’t find our ‘annointed’dictionary to check)
Lots to ponder here, daughter will have to think on this a bit.
(and keeping in mind the truth in that quote we read today, we may just have to chat about this one.)

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