Well it's that time again...it's time to open up my laptop and let the words flow. There's only a tiny problem with this, it's been about eight months since my last blog post!!! Considering I wrote three times a week for almost a year this blows me away. Over the past year Colby and I started a couples group at our church which is awesome and something I completely love, but I spend a lot of my time each week studying for that and I ended up just letting this blog go. But over the last few weeks this tiny little blog, and the overwhelming desire to sit down and write again, has started to fill my thoughts.
So today I sat down to try and write and...nothing. After writing has filled so many of my thoughts for the last few weeks I finally set time aside to actually get something out there and absolutely nothing would come out. Now that's not to say that I couldn't think of anything to talk about, it was exactly the opposite actually. Topic after topic, and idea after idea filled my mind and made it impossible to write anything.
Should I talk about marriage, or sex, or family, or lessons i've learned with my kids lately, or gossip and rumors, or the church, or Jesus, or....the list goes on and on! I want to talk about it all and I want to do it right now! Of course I know that i'd lose everyone's interest in no time at all if I ran back and forth between topics and carried on for pages and pages. So i've decided that for today i'm actually not going to talk about any of those things! Today the thought that is consuming my mind and jumping to the front, is love.
A few days ago the air1 verse of the day was 1 Corinthians 13:7 but I like verses 4-7 so that's what i'm sharing here. Those verses say "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
These are verses that we all know. We've heard them at least a dozen times and most Christians can quote at least parts of them. But my question is, do you know these verses or do you live these verses?
Knowing you should love is one thing, but living that love is another. Knowing you should be patient and kind is one thing, but living patiently and with kindness is another. Knowing you should love through every circumstance, and actually loving through EVERY circumstance is another.
See what Paul is talking about here is the kind of love that puts yourself last and puts those around you, those you are called to love, first no matter the circumstance. The problem with this is, we live in an "all about me" culture and if that "me" isn't taken care of we suddenly forget the whole love thing. If something in the bible is hard to do, we throw it out, call it old fashion and say it doesn't apply to us anymore, and i'll be the first one to admit that loving like these verses talk about is HARD. But the fact is, the Word doesn't change.
Hebrews 13:8 says "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." And that same Jesus, who never changes, is the one who loves us in every circumstance, is patient with us, and kind to us, and never rejoices in our injustice but only ever rejoices when truth wins out. His love never gives up on us, it never runs out and it never loses hope, no matter what.
Now I know things are hard. I know people hurt you. I know people wrong you, sometimes on a regular basis. But I know what Jesus said. He said, "love". He didn't say "love if...", He said "love".
I'm not trying to sound like some 1970's flower child walking around singing "All we need is love" here but think about it...
If we had love, would we hold on to that grudge, or let it go and hold onto forgiveness instead?
If we had love, would we share the latest piece of gossip, or work on speaking only good and truth about our friends and those around us?
If we had love, would we give up on a difficult situation or relationship, or would we fight for it?
If we had love, would we remember every time we were hurt and pull out our list of wrongs all the time, or lay each one down at Jesus feet?
See it's so easy to think about how we were wronged, or how we were hurt and completely forget about how WE wronged or how WE hurt. And in spite of all that, Jesus loved. He forgave and chased after and never gave up on us. That old "WWJD?" phrase that everyone talked about for a while really is a good question. What would Jesus do? In this case that's easy to answer because He already did it. He loved. He forgave. He sacrificed. He let go of our past and allowed us to build a new future. How on earth can we think we have a right to do anything less that what Christ himself did for us?
This might be a little too strong of a post for my first post back in such a long time but I think it's needed. I've seen so many situations and relationships lately that just need this one thing! I'm not trying to down play the difficulty of this one thing, but difficult and impossible are two completely different things! I don't know about you but I serve a God who says in Him, ALL things are possible and that gives me great hope, in even the most impossible situations.
1 Corinthians 13:13 "But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love."