Sunday, February 16, 2014

So, Friday was Valentine’s Day. You know, the one day a year that everyone is talking about the L-word.


Not just LOVE, but ... loooooooooooove. Complete with hearts and flowers and fluffy teddy bears. The sort of day that’s guaranteed to be a disappointment to so many of us just because of the expectations that come along with it, no matter how good we might actually have it in real life. It’s so easy to focus on what I don’t have, that I wanted.

But then I look at what love actually is—the bleeding, broken, dying God-Man who came to rescue a fallen world. To redeem the poor who thought they were rich according to the world’s measure of things, the stupid who think they are brilliant by the same standard, the wicked who have convinced themselves they have others’ welfare at heart.

I read the chapter that is the classic description of love—and I know that I fail, not even in small ways, but epically, to walk out what love really is.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

I could be wildly talented in how I speak, but if I don’t love ...

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

... or incredibly gifted in intellectual and spiritual matters, but if I don’t love ...

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

... or even wildly generous and self-sacrificing ... and obviously it’s possible to do that and not really love ...

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

Oh, ouch. Patient and kind? Not envious of others? Not drawing attention to itself?

does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

... not pushing and shoving, not—what? I’m not supposed to react if someone says something to offend me?

 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Not just patience, but endless patience. Endless faith. Endless hope. Endless endurance.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

Because intellectual and spiritual giftings all have their limits ...

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 12, NKJV)

1 comment :

  1. Beautiful post, Shannon. Perfect. Thank you for sharing your heart.


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