HOL’ UP, WAIT A MINUTE….DID SHE SAY LOVE?
|I know this is what y’all have been waiting for…..|
finally have a …NOPE!
Before y’all start with the fireworks and parades I am not talking about romantic love. I’m talking about loving your neighbors, friends and even strangers. In my past I have not always been the most loving person.
In my teens I felt disconnected and was pretty ambivalent about most people. I was struggling to deal with my own feelings and didn’t venture outside of my very small group of friends.
In my early twenties I started saying that I hated people. You have to admit there is a lot to despise. Reading or watching the news just makes me sick with the injustices, prejudices, politics, war, maiming, and plain disrespect rampant in the world. Just check the comments on any YouTube video or article on Facebook and you might lose hope too.
Now I have a love of people. It is not through my own power. Once you decide to follow Jesus and put on this mantle called Christian you get a new template for love. Jesus puts it very plainly in Matthew 22:36-40 when asked “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” What does that mean? It means that everything else I stand for has to be filtered through loving God and loving others. That’s the new standard of my life.
Love is no longer a feeling but an action that you work to show on a daily basis. The apostle Paul says it best. After explaining all of these gifts we receive as Christians He stops to say in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 that even if we have the language of heaven and earth but don’t have love it only amounts to noise. Or if we can understand the mysteries of the universe or can move mountains with our faith but don’t have love, all of that ability means nothing. You could give everything that you have but without love…..you gain nothing. He then goes on to give one of the most thorough and difficult explanations of love.
I Corinthians 13: 4-8
I know I’m not perfect. I have failed at all of these points; sometimes in epic combos of failure. But the point is not perfection but to keep striving. I wake up every morning knowing this is a new opportunity to try again. To show love to someone again even if it means apologizing for the rude person I was the day before. There is no secret to this. I love God with all the pieces of me and then use those same pieces to love other people. Someday this may come easier to me but now it is a daily heart check to be a better person than I was the day before. To see my name inserted in the text makes me cringe more than smile because at this moment most of it is untrue. But I still press on.
Seretha is patient and kind. Seretha does not envy or boast. Seretha is not arrogant or rude. She does not insist on her own way. Seretha is not irritable or resentful. Seretha does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Seretha bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things.