Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Love is not hypocritical

"[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, Love never fails."
1 Corinthians 13:7-8(a).

When you think of love, what do you think of? Many times in this culture, love is what you say to your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife; it is what you feel when you are the object or giver of favored importance; or maybe it's just a word that passes around that never really has any meaning because of overuse or bad experiences. That is not love! I repeat, that is not love!

We are all hypocrites. Every single one of us. We all do things that we shouldn't have done, that we didn't want to do, that we look down on in ourselves. We don't bear all things. When the going gets tough, my first inclination is to drop it. Why would I bear through something if someone had wronged me? I can't possibly look passed all that. But I know someone who will.

We don't believe all things. There are certain times where I believe that someone else can't get better, can't be forgiven, or that they could never live up to their aspirations, let alone that I could. But I know someone who does.

We don't hope all things. In fact, I don't even know that I hope a little of the things. The word hope comes from the meaning, "to confidently expect". When you or I look out around this world, do we look at it with confident expectation that it could change? that it could get better? Do we live our lives every day in the confident expectation that heaven is just around the corner? I know, with an emphatic NO, that I do not live this way even an eighth of the time. But I know who sees everything, beginning and end.

We don't endure all things. We can endure for a little time hardship, or suffering, or ridicule, but to what extent? I know someone who hung on a tree til death, who died for our sins, and endured everything so that I could be with Him.

Love never fails. God never fails! In essence, when we look at these characteristics, we all become hypocrites to love. Only God himself can claim that characteristic.

But that doesn't mean we just stop. We strive to have all of these characteristics of love. So how do we get there? By striving after God. I quote Jon Courson a lot, but I just love the way he writes about this. "The only way [to exhibit this kind of love] is to let Jesus Christ live it through us, for He is the embodiment of these characteristics. . . . As I walk with the Lord, talk to the Lord, and learn about the Lord, His Spirit produces this character in me ever so slowly, but ever so surely." I realize I am a hypocrite, and I realize that when it comes to this, I mess up a lot, especially with the people that matter most to me. But as I continually walk with the Lord, and read about how he lived and loved, I find myself more and more inclined to live the life he exampled.

When the world sees this type of love, they won't get it. Jon quotes again, "people will accuse you of being blind to certain situations. But they will be wrong. Agape love is not blind. Quite the opposite. BECAUSE love sees MORE, it's willing to see LESS". God has forgiven us all. The person you are bitter about, the person that pretended to love you; He even forgave you and me. God bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. God's love on the cross, never fails!

He is love!

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