"And now I will show you the most excellent way...But the greatest of these is love." -- 1 Corinthians 12:31b -- 13:13
"And the prize for most loving mother goes to....." Oh, please! Some days I think someone needs to take that loving cup and hit me over the head with it, particularly when my patience wears thin with my kids and those closest to me! After all, as a Christian I should always be loving toward others, right? Even when I am offended, disrespected, or ignored altogether, God calls me to walk in love even though I'd rather give the other person a swift kick in the you-know-what.
What is love anyway? In today's passage of Scripture Paul tells us clearly what love is and what love is not. Love is patient and kind. It is not envious, boastful, proud, rude, self-seeking, easily angered, or prone to carry a grudge. Wow! How often are we just the opposite -- not patient or kind, but rather more often rude, self-seeking, easily angered, and so on? I don't know about you, but I am the least likely to be awarded a prize for being "the most loving" anything!
What if for one day we could actually walk in the kind of love that is described in this passage of Scripture? Can you imagine the kind of impact we might have on others and the difference our lives might make in a world that is so lacking in love, patience, and kindness? We can never measure up to God's love standard, except by the power of his Holy Spirit as we wholly surrender ourselves to him.
Burt Bacharach and Hal David clearly understood that "what the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of. What the world needs now is love, sweet love -- no not just for some, but for everyone." Today, may we all make a more valiant effort to love those around us, not in our own power but by drawing on the love of the One who laid down his very life for his friends (John 15:13).