Love is tricky. In love, out of love, broken love, lost love, damaged love, rekindled love. There’s probably nothing that can’t be done with love – by that I mean there is probably no shape that love hasn’t been bent into yet. It fascinates me too, how much emphasis is put on that moment in a relationship where “I love you” is first said. Time stands still, lovers feel like they can move mountains, sometimes things get thrown if it’s just not the right time (although mostly in movies.
When we truly understand Love though, not just love, we begin to understand why it’s such a big deal.
Occasionally I like to revisit 1 Corinthians 13. Yes, thanks for pointing out, it is probably the most over-quoted piece of Scripture when it comes to love. I like to write my own version of it applicable to the time in my life. I wrote one a few years ago and most of those things still ring true, and most of them still need desperate attention, but I felt challenged recently to right a version that fits my now. If they apply to you too, great; if not, simply journey with me.
The fact of the matter is this: Love never fails. The problem is that I fail. I am not perfect. Love is perfect. Not love, but Love. I’m arrogant, I shout, I get frustrated, I brag, I enjoy recounting moments where people have pissed me off because sometimes it just feels powerful to feel angry. Love is not about power, you see…
Love is patient. If you’ve made a mess of your life, it’ll take time to rebuild – don’t hate on yourself.
Love is kind. Do not talk badly about those who don’t know they’re hurting you.
Love does not envy. Remember that servant who was given one talent? It’s not about what others have.
Love does not boast. Are you OK with being invisible sometimes? Dish out some credit for a change.
Love is not proud. It’s not important that you’re always right. Get your oversized head, out of your stubborn ass.
Love is not rude. I would also like to add moody, grumpy, or inconsiderate to that. Don’t open your mouth when you’re experiencing any one of those states. It’s not necessary to say “fuck” when you’re fighting.
Love is not self-seeking. Buy someone a loaf of bread and some milk.
Love is not easily angered. Take a deep breath when you kick your toe, when you have the urge to punch someone in the face, when things don’t go exactly according to plan (*ahem* control freak).
Love keeps no record of wrongs. Let go of the people who have wronged you – God will do a much better job of dealing with them than you ever could.
Love does not delight in evil. You shouldn’t be excited when “they get what’s coming to them.” Jesus practised compassion.
Love rejoices with the truth. The truth hurts. The truth gets in there and cuts deep but the truth also allows you to walk away empty handed when you’ve dealt with it. Only lies give you things to carry.
Love always protects. The last word, or that under-handed under-your-breath comment is not necessary.
Love always trusts. “Don’t be stupid! In this day and age? You’ve got to be kidding me!” Well, I’m not. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of, obviously. But I’m not just talking about people. Trust for the future. Trust that that person will come through for you. Trust yourself.
Love always hopes. Lift up your head. You can only see your feet when you’re looking down, look ahead.
Love always perseveres. You’ve come this far, why give up now?
Love never fails.