We’ve all heard 1 Corinthians 13 at weddings, or read bits of it on a Valentine card. What is love? Well, the Apostle Paul helps us understand many of its expressions. What is it, but also what it is not:
“Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, doe not act unbecomingly; does not seek its own, is not provoked, doe not take into account a wrong suffered, doe not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoiced in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
The nature of love, so selfless, beautiful, thinking not of the reaction but motivated by the truth and the flourishing of others.
This morning I had the idea of swapping some words around as it relates to our old, and new nature. What if we simply exchanged the opposites for a look from another angle?
Could it be said that the false (old nature) self:
- is impatient towards the brokenness of others.
- is unkind.
- is secretly jealous at the well being of others.
- needs to brag & comes across as arrogant.
- acts or speaks inappropriately, is embarrassing to identify with.
- seeks its own.
- is provoked by unsubstantiated things.
- keeps record of wrongs done to it.
- finds unrighteousness something interesting.
- is not interested in the truth.
- is quite reactionary.
- is unbelieving when it comes to finding hope in situations.
- looks for easier, less costly paths.
- true, selfless love does not exist.
I still recognize many of these patterns in my life. Patterns, self-preserving, fear based insecurities really mess us up! We recognize their ugliness, yet find comfort in putting on old clothes. Thank you Jesus that you have not shown us any of these opposites!
Jesus didn’t just give us a list of requirements but passionately (suffered) loved each of us. The deeper I rest in His love over me, the more conscious I’m becoming of the motivations in my heart. Love is truly one way, it goes to a situation and person(s) regardless of the return, or lack of it. It lands as love, and is finished. Jesus help me to love like you – and rest not in the result of love, but the joyful participation of such a glorious thing as your heart!