3.27.14 "Love is Hard! Love is Scary!"

We are blessed with two submissions for today's blog! 1 Corinthians 13:1-7

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

This passage begins with a warning. Saying or doing the right thing, even good things for the wrong reason gets you no points.   You can show up at church every Sunday, tithe faithfully, even attend and participate in bible study, all in vain if your motivation is wrong.

This is difficult to deal with because our motives are generally buried so deep in our hearts we often fool ourselves into believing they are reasonable, good, even commendable when they are actually vain, conceited and selfish more often driven by ego or guilt than by love. Here’s a hint. If you have to really think about it, your motive may be questionable. More than likely you are searching for a reason to do it, or not to do it, based on what we call W.I.I.F.M. What’s In It For Me.  Sorry, no points.

Love is scary. Look at some of those words, patient, not envious, not proud, trusting. Really?   But sometimes our greatest expressions of love emerge and we are lead to do our best work when we are scared, really scared.   Ultimately, true love will force us to seek a way through it, instead of a way out of it. The really good news is love never gives up and therefore it always, always, wins!

Has there ever been any more beautiful words every written than verses 4 through 6 of this passage.   The words have been universally used (and rightfully so) in virtually every conceivable venue connected to the expression of love, weddings, anniversaries, funerals. But I respectfully submit that there were indeed more beautiful words transcribed for us and spoken from a cross at a Roman execution more than 2000 years ago. Those words exemplify the greatest expression of love the world has ever known, “It is finished!”

Heavenly FATHER thank you for showing us what love is, not by words alone, but by action. Wherever we find ourselves today no matter what the situation or circumstances remind us that love never gives up and always perseveres. In CHRIST name we pray, amen. Alleluia! Praise GOD!

Jim L.