Monday, April 12, 2010

Follow The Way of Love

People are difficult. Annoying. Hard to live with. And I lump myself into the annoyingly difficult and hard to live with category. But living in isolation would quickly get old so we're all forced to live with each other, like it or not.

Yesterday the assigned Bible reading was I Corinthians 13, the Love chapter. As I read it, I felt God encouraging me to take some time to really soak in what love is and what it isn't, but I chose not to take the time and closed up shop with God early. Today I got irritated with someone over a minor issue and felt myself mentally berating them. Why is it so satisfying to start rehashing every last thing the offender did or has ever done and why does it brings a sick sense of justification for getting upset? When I sat down for my time with God, I was still irritated. I opened to I Corinthians and the verses I read yesterday started playing back in my mind. As I re-read them, the squirming began. "Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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 perserveres. Love never fails."

I realized as I re-read these words that I was acting like a toddler. I was easily angered. I was keeping a record of wrongs. I was not protecting or trusting this relationship. I was not being kind and I was being proud. OUCH. While I initially tried to give myself bonus points for internalizing my struggle and keeping it to myself, I eventually realized that didn't matter. Internal or external, it was still ugly. I confessed my sin and felt the Lord restoring my spirit as I moved on to chapter 14. The first line jumped off the page: "Follow the way of love." Huh? How have I never noticed that before? Is it really that simple?

I'd argue that it is. If I take LOVE, as defined by God in chapter 13, and consistently follow the way of love in my relationships, every person in my circle of influence will be blessed. So that's my desire. That's my goal. With God's help, I will follow the way of love in every personal interaction I have each day. I'll let you know how it goes.

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