I think in my previous blog posts I’ve made the point that life is hard, life is messy, life is crappy, and yes, life is beautiful. Sometimes all in one day.
Stuff happens. And people happen. And stuff happens to people. And people make stuff happen. And people make stuff happen to other people.
Sometimes in the process of all of these happenings, someone gets hurt. Let’s say that someone is me.
Ok, it’s me. (It is I, English majors.)
After all, I’m writing this, and it would be useless to pretend I am talking about someone else here.
Let me cut to the chase. Sometimes when I am hurt or disrespected by someone, I tend to want to lash out in a manner inconsistent with my Christian walk.
But let me tell you something I have learned in this life: God’s way is the best way. He does all things well. And He’s pretty much infinitely smarter than I am. (It’s so helpful when I remember this!)
His way is love. (After all, He IS love.)
Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14:15). Well, I love him. Then he said that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and the second greatest is to love your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:27). Paul said all the commandments are summed up in one: Love your neighbor as yourself. (Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14). James calls it the “Royal Law.” (James 2:8 NIV).
What does it mean to love someone? I Corinthians 13:4-7 in the Amplified Bible makes it painfully clear:
Love endures long and is patient and kind;
Love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy.
Love is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
Love is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride);
Love is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.
Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking.
Love is not touchy or fretful or resentful.
Love takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
Love does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes.
Love is ever ready to believe the best of every person.
Love’s hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
That is such a tall order. That seems so impossible a task for me to achieve. How can I do it?
The Bible tells me that the love of God has been shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5).
What He tells us to do, He helps us to do.
Doing things the love way goes against the grain. It goes against popular advice. It goes against the flesh nature that wants to lash out and hurt back.
But the greatest part about this love thing is that IT NEVER FAILS. That’s right! LOVE NEVER FAILS! (So says I Corinthians 13:8.) I like a sure thing, but it doesn’t come easy! Walking in love is a daily thing, and sometimes even moment by moment. I remind myself of how Love–how GOD–how God’s love in me acts. Then I try to act that way.
What’s love got to do with it?