Today’s encouragement is short but not always simple. Today I encourage you to LOVE…
LOVE those closest to you in the way that they will recognize and receive it best.
LOVE those who have offended you and don’t wait for their permission to forgive.
LOVE your friends and family unconditionally based on who they are instead of what they do.
LOVE your enemies and treat them kindly as you would want them to treat you.
LOVE people–not things.
LOVE good–not evil
And, going along with Dave’s post yesterday about looking in the mirror, here is a good way to measure how you are doing when it comes to loving others the way that Christ expects of us.
Most people are familiar with 1 Corinthians 13 whether or not you have read it, listened to a message on it, or heard it being read at a wedding, but have you ever taken inventory of how you are doing in the area of love using this passage as a plum line line? Let’s start by reading the passage together…
“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. Love never fails.” (vv. 4-8 )
Now here’s the test. Replace the word “Love” with your name and see if it still rings true. Here is an example using my name.
“Pastor Randy is patient, Pastor Randy is kind. Pastor Randy does not envy, he does not boast, Pastor Randy is not proud. Pastor Randy does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, and is not easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs. Pastor Randy does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Pastor Randy never fails.” (vv. 4-8 )
Now, I wish I could say that with these changes the passage still rang true 100% of the time but the reality is that there are areas that I fall short in and ultimately need to ask God’s help to get better in.
So now, how about you? Write your name in each blank, rate yourself (or ask a spouse or a close friend if you’re feeling daring), and then ask God to help you to work on the areas where you fall short. Ultimately though the best thing we can do to grow in each and every area is to spend time getting to know the one who perfected love—Jesus himself.
________________ is patient
________________ is kind
________________ does not envy
________________ does not boast
________________ is not proud
________________ does not dishonor others
________________ is not self-seeking
________________ is not easily angered
________________ keeps no record of wrongs
________________ does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
________________ always protects
________________ always trusts
________________ always hopes
________________ always perseveres
________________ never fails