Tuesday, September 27, 2011

but the greatest of these is what?

so, I've been having one of those days. it was a dreary start to the week and it continued through to today. it was hard to keep a smile on my face so I let it slip right into a frown today..maybe even a bit of a scowl like this >:( but eventually the sun came out and my smile came back. On my drive home I was mulling over the day and feeling irritated at some things I witnessed. It happens every day though. People judging others. Sometimes over stupid little things. And I am definitely guilty of this myself more often than I'd care to admit. I know I've posted about this before, but it's a resounding theme in my life right now - WHY IS LOVING OTHERS SO HARD?

I know we've all read or heard 1 Corinthians 13 enough that we should all know it by heart. It's a favorite at weddings. The parts I usually remember are "Love is patient, love is kind..." but the parts that I seem to have really overlooked until now are the lines before that.

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.        2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.           3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

WOW. how have i missed this? How did I miss the part that says I can have FAITH ENOUGH to move a mountain, but if I don't have love, I'm NOTHING. nothing. not a thing. Or, if I can solve life's greatest mysteries and have the wisdom of Solomon, but don't love others, it doesn't mean one red cent. And, it's great and all if I help the poor, but what is my motivation for doing so? Is it because i LOVE them, or because i LOVE thinking that I am such a good and noble servant. HEY, look at me over here! Giving to the poor! :) yep, that's right! I'm soooo good and sweet to do it.

I mean, crap. Yeah, I like to think that I love others or at least try to. But how can I say I love others and then curse the person who cuts me off in traffic? How can I love others and then not cut them any slack when they are rude to me? And, it isn't just in the blatant ways i'm not showing love to others. It's in the little things. The eyeroll behind someone's back. The snide remark to someone who rubs me the wrong way. All of these things reflect my "love" for others.

So far, I'm not looking all that great. It's in the last part of this scripture that God spells it right out for us just to be sure that there is no confusion:

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
the greatest of these is LOVE. Faith, Hope and LOVE. So, loving others must be pretty important. I wish we could all love others just a little bit more every day. If everyone did this, think of what we could do! So this will be my prayer...

Father God, I pray that you will let me see people through Your Eyes and reflect a true love that can only come from You in me. I pray that every day You would help us to love others more than we did the day before. Thank you for loving me!

i LOVE you, friends!

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