2016-04-13 - True Love
The word love has a wide array of meanings within the English language and the many other languages around the world. They range from beloved, fondness, adoration, desire, joy, praise, care, cherish to so many more. There was a man I knew who once said “you have to earn the right to get to know people”. Personally, I think that allowing others to get to know you is part of love. In that process of getting to know others, we respect them as God put them together, including the physical and internal aspects, rather than just seeing them as a means to an end.
Have you ever felt like you were only a means to an end, when talking to someone? If we value someone as part of our lives, we dare to call them family (church or otherwise), and we constantly have our own agendas, then how much different are we than the world we claim to renounce as a place of which we are only passing through? People who have spent their lives forming love relationships based on the many definitions the world has to offer, will only be as disappointed as usual, if the same tactics are also used in settings supposed to be fueled by the love of a creator.
There has to be something different and hopeful about a love of a Savior. As such, there also has to be something different about how we interact with people, when we are convinced there is a bigger goal. It starts by being intentional with people we serve with, long after the honeymoon, so to speak, is over. It takes work, it takes time, and although it can be challenging, at times overall it should be something we more naturally gravitate toward and look forward to doing. If we think about how we interact with others, generally, is that how we would want others to treat us? If so, keep up the good work. If not, try again. Start with prayer. He loves it when we spend time with him, to ask how we should seek others most effectively, since he already knows them, anyway. Got it?
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted