I am working through the book, Becoming a Woman Who Loves; in it the author nails her readers with a bold paragraph; that i am going to share with you. " Love suffers for a long time. Our modern 'throw-away' society encourages us to get rid of people in our lives who are difficult to get along with, whether they are friends, family, or acquaintances. Yet this attitude runs in complete contrast to the love described by Paul. True love puts up with people who would be easier to give up on."
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. ~1 Corinthians 13:4-8
As Christians we are challenged to live by God's standard of love; not by how we feel. OUCH! Because when I am really loving others as He does; I am patient, kind, I will rejoice in truth, I will protect, trust, hope, and persevere through all things. The contrast to all this is that, if I am walking in God's love, then I will not envy, or brag, I will lay down my pride, I will not dishonor or gossip, I will not promote myself, or be easily angered, I will not hold grudges, or delight or enjoy things that God considers evil.
The truth is that when I look at my life against this standard, I have to admit I have not always displayed love. But, I can also look at who I used to be and see how Gods Word has been changing me, daily. I am able to live out a lot of these, in comparison to what I used to be.
I spent the first half of my young adult life in anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness. God has set me free from all three of those chains, that held me captive. Thank you, Jesus. I was literally unable to enjoy my life; while I was stuck in those emotions/sins. Even though I felt, I was justified to hold those record of wrongs. And truthfully, according to the world's standards, I was. But, the one suffering was me; and everyone around me. I was miserable, and I was miserable to be around. But, the challenge today is to walk in the characteristics described in 1 Cor. 13 in my everyday life. In the small annoyances, the small hurts and in the big hurts. In good seasons and in hard seasons. In my marriage, with my children, with my neighbors, my co-workers, and with other people in my CHURCH. And really, not just the ones I like or can easily tolerate; but the people who grate, who are difficult. The people who are negative, and complain, the one who is always right, even when they seldom are. I know you have a few faces popping up in your mind right now. LOL! But, if you were really being honest with yourself, how many people would picture your face when reading this. I know, another OUCH! Seriously, we all can be difficult; we all have issues. The good news is that Gods Word can change us all. If I am truly walking in, and displaying God's love from a sincere heart, I will be surrounded by people who will love me in the same manner. But, more importantly, I will be making my God so proud; and He will be seen by the world, through my life. That's the best!
Life is beautiful!