How many times have you sat through a wedding to hear the cliche 1 Corinthians 13 verse? I've been to maybe 15 weddings in my lifetime, and if I were a betting woman (I did win $200 in Aruba playing dollar slots one time...it was the luckiest day of my life), I'd say that maybe 2/3 of these weddings had that scripture in it. So what?
This ever so popular verse states:
"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." - 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
A wise Beth Moore once instructed us to put our names in that verse to replace the word love. Now think about it. Is that easy? If I were to replace love with my name, I would sound like a hypocrite.
Patient? I can say that it's been an act of God sometimes for me to stand silently as I wait for the person in the cashier line s l o w l y counting change as I quickly run through my laundry list of what I need to do for the day. But yes, patience is a virtue and as a matter-of-fact I do believe the art is getting easier to practice.
Kind? Mmm...so I am sarcastic. And I have dry humor. And I would love to tell you that it's so easy for me to shut my mouth. But, in the most unfortunate times I have found myself saying quirky things that don't even pass through a filter before they leave my mouth. It's almost like driving 45 mph down the road when the yellow light 10 feet ahead of you that you had your gaze set upon quickly turns red. There's no way you can stop in time, so just don't even try. So then you smile and wave as three flashes capture your license plate, your car, and your Princess Di beauty pageant wave.
Envy? I look through the Victoria's Secret catalogue just like the best of us. And I knowwww that they have had several hours of airbrushing. But I don't care. I still look and wonder if that suit that they are wearing in a XXS would look good on me in a Smedium.
So yes, I could continue on to tell you how I am not perfect with the rest of that verse. But, I will spare you. I will tell you however, that God's love is so great and so awesome, and SO powerful, that even when I am at my weakest I know that I am perfect in His eyes!
John 13:34-35 tells us, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Everyone will know that YOU are HIS disciples if you love one another. And 1 Corinthians 13:13 says "But the greatest of these is love." That is His greatest commandment for us!
How do we do that? How do we love all of the people who are short with us? Or the people who constantly hurt us? I have no idea whatsoever. I complain and pout and tell God about all these really great, strong, towering walls I've spent 26 years building specifically so I can keep people out of my life that are capable of hurting me. But He tells me to take those walls down. He says "love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" & that it never fails. And so I pray. I pray every day that I can love others the way that He has loved me. And it works. Not overnight. I am starting to see that not every guy wants to take my heart and wad it up into a ball and toss it in the trashcan...and I also see that even the tiniest, simplest smile or gesture can make someone's day. And that, is love.