We talk about love – a lot.
We talk about loving our neighbor and loving those who are different from us.
We frown and complain about hate and injustice.
With all of the talk, I thought I should go back and look at the way God describes love, since He IS love (I John 4:8). He gives us a detailed description in I Corinthians 13.
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. (ESV)
This passage is often read during marriage ceremonies and that is good, but it isn’t written in the context of marriage. It is written in the context of life – living every day. In fact, if you look at the King James version of these verses love is noted as charity, and that word ‘charity’ refers to loving as God loves.
God calls this way of love “a more excellent way” (I Corinthians 12:31).
That description convicts me. I am not always patient and kind, and I do like my own way. Some days I can be irritable. God still has a lot of work to do in my heart.
When I look at how the world depicts love and how God describes love, I see a discrepancy. The world’s love often tears down or takes advantage. And so much of the ongoing fighting and scheming is about getting our own way.
I like simple, and an old gospel song puts love in a simple context for me. “Love Lifted Me” tells about the love of God lifting the burdened soul out of sin and despair. I like that – Love lifts.
Love doesn’t tear down or destroy what is good. Love lifts.
Love doesn’t push another down. Love lifts.
Love doesn’t stomp on another or bypass another. Love lifts.
Love doesn’t scream at the sinner and condemn him to no hope. Love lifts.
So, today, I want to be a lifter. As I walk on life’s journey, I want to be aware of the souls in the ditch and the souls in pews. I want to be a lifter.
That is going to take some love muscles, and I will have to walk with and depend on God for those.
Perhaps you can ask God to help you be a lifter, too.
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
I John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
Love Lifted Me – a good listen.
Photo Butterfly on Dahlia ©Beth Mims