4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Okay, so we all know this verse well because we’ve all been to a wedding, but do we ever spend more than the few fleeting moments we are sitting behind the bride and the groom to truly meditate on the verse and apply it to our lives?
We all love imperfectly because we all try to love others in our own power. We need to continually hold up God’s definition of love against what to world teaches us to find and fight the discrepancies. And when we do, we need to think about how we love others - not how others love us. Far too often, we hear this list and immediately start thinking about how others in our lives have failed us. We’re not meant to apply scripture to other people’s lives, we’re meant to apply it to our own.
We are all guilty of hearing criticism where love is intended, or of giving criticism where we want to love. I get caught in this trap all the time. I could walk around with this verse in front of me all day, and I'd still do it. But I am growing in my ability to love as He loves, and I'm learning to catch myself quicker.
Changing my thinking about people was the first step - I intentionally try think the best of others, and I’m learning to receive well. Assume positive intent. We are so naturally critical as humans that we tend to think others are being critical of us in what they say. I try hard not to assume the worst when I am receiving someone’s words. Its easy to jump to the conclusion that someone’s intention in their words is to be hurtful, but my experiences have taught me that far too often, people don’t even recognize the hurt their words cause because they’re so wrapped up in their own thoughts and feelings.
In short, I stopped being so sensitive. I assume people have other things going on in their heads than just me and my feelings, I assume they have different agendas and trials they're dealing with in their lives rather than me. And I allow them to be who they are - a broken sinner like me working through life the best they can. That includes my husbands, my friends, my children.
I also work hard to see the good in everything - that takes effort and retraining of the brain. My mind is so well trained to immediately see problems, judge others, criticize situations. I am a problem solver, so I see problems - everywhere. I have to intentionally take those thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. When we look for good, we see things we could not see before. But it takes effort and work on my part to be intentional about seeing the good in others, and it takes spending daily time in His Word allowing Him to fill me with His Spirit.
Finally, I work to create an environment of love, even when those around me seem to want to create the complete opposite. I used to get angry and be confrontational when I felt I was working on being loving, but others around me were not applying the same truths to their lives. I used to be the martyr, complaining that I'm over here being awesome, and certain people around me were just being mean. But the focus of those thoughts are on me, and not on what this verse calls us to do - not be irritable, not be resentful, but to bear all things, believe all things, endure all things. I've found that I need to be the love in my life that I so desperately crave, and not expect others to be it for me. And when I have chosen to allow the Spirit to move in me in a way that demonstrates His love where it is most difficult, I have been blown away at the incredible blessings He has given to me.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
Popular posts from this blog
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:25-26 What believer would not want to experience the kind deep devotion to God found in these verses? This kind of loyal commitment is the desire of every person of faith....yet it eludes so many of us. If you've been a believer for long, you know there are times it does not come easy. There is a great price involved in reaching the kind of faith found in these verses. This level of commitment is only achieved through fierce struggle. The battle between Spirit and flesh is constant, but it is in the battle that we are strengthened when we choose to lean in and trust God, to turn to Him for our strength in the battle, and to keep our eyes fixed on Him despite what the world throws at us. Asaph wrote these words only after a difficult and confusing crisis of faith. He was tempted to com
I am a believer in Christ, and I have breast cancer. On August 17, 2017, I was diagnosed with an aggressive (HER2+), recurrent (hormone negative) type of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. At this point, they have not yet staged my cancer because they are waiting for the biopsy results from a suspicious spot in the second breast. The biopsy is scheduled for September 5th, with a lumpectomy to follow on September 7th. They will formally stage my cancer after they biopsy my lymph nodes, which will be taken during the surgery. It doesn't make any sense to me that I have a cancer diagnosis - I am a fairly healthy woman who runs 2 miles almost every day and eats a gluten-free, primarily paleo diet, with no family history at all. But it makes sense to God, and so here I am. Update ~ They found 4 isolated invasions during the lumpectomy. Due to the nature of my cancer (HER2+ and ER-), the recommended protocol is chemotherapy and radiation. Beginning in October, my chemotherapy regime
When we launched our new blog we had no idea if anyone would see it or be helped by it, but we knew that the LORD was prompting us to step out in faith and just do it. The response has been amazing and we are looking forward to how God will use this space for His glory. We have learned over many years of service in a variety of ministries, that God does not require human assistance to realize His plans for individuals, churches, nations, or the human race. But the story of the bible is the story of God’s will playing out through the words and actions of the His children. So…we pray, meditate on his Word, and write from the heart about the truths that mold our faith, guide our actions, and inspire our hearts and minds. Please visit the site and subscribe to continue receiving posts. https://graceinmarriage.com/ It is our sincere hope that you are blessed by our work here and welcome your input on how we can make Grace in Marriage even better. Thank you for your support.