How many times have you heard this passage read at a wedding?
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (I Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV)
It’s a beautiful passage that relates well to marriage, even though written in a context relating to spiritual gifts within the church.
However, I think sometimes we forget, or choose to ignore, that this is how we are supposed to love EVERYONE, in ALL circumstances not just those we like.
We are called to become more like Jesus.
Jesus is the exact representation of God’s character (if you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father).
God is love.
The above passage describes God, it describes His nature!
Jesus said; a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you (the same way, our Heavenly Father Loves).
Simple concept? Yes.
Difficult to live? Absolutely!
Trying, in HIS strength despite the challenge? Easier, and oh so rewarding.
It’s time that we as a church, as a collective body, start to take this command seriously. But it starts as individuals. When you begin to love the way that Jesus loved, the way that He still loves, YOU WILL SEE GOD’S KINGDOM COME IN YOUR LIFE AND IN THE LIVES AROUND YOU!
It’s time church.
Speaking the truth in love is something that us ‘churchies’ tend to do a lot of. And don’t get me wrong, there is a place for it.
But there is also a place for shutting your mouth in love!
Simply because, the truth as you see it may not be truth at all, it may just be your opinion.
If you zoom out from where you stand you will see that from your teeny tiny position in this enormous universe your perception of a particular situation may only be from one slender angle, and from this angle you cannot see the entire picture. None of us can.
I encourage speaking the truth in love. But let’s just make sure that before we dare do this, we are not approaching the situation with a ‘plank’ in our own eye, that we have earned the right and privilege to speak into an individual’s life, and that the words we are speaking come from a heart of selfless love for that person and their well being, be it spiritual, emotional or physical.
Finally and most importantly, be certain that it is GOD’s TRUTH you are speaking and that He has released you to speak (especially correction), and that He has released you to speak in THAT moment.
Sometimes God highlights a character flaw or issue in someone else, just to show us that he sees it all, all the sin, all the yuck and yet still loves us. He’s reminding us that we’re called to do the same!
Sometimes, walking alongside someone and loving them is ALL we are called to do.