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. ~1 Corinthians 13:4-7
We have a radio station in town that I listen to when we can get it. Some days we are just out of range. Some days we pick up the station no problem. I don’t understand the science of it, but I really like that radio station. I’m always checking to see if maybe today I will be able to hear them.*
So picture a woman driving, hearing a song that sounds like it could be her new favorite, and willing the radio station to pick it up. I can hear the tune, then I hear a little static, some more of the tune, and then a basketball announcer is interrupting the music, then I can hear some lyrics. The lyrics I heard this week were, “what love is.”
And it struck me. If I focused on God as I do on this radio station, life would probably be going a lot better. I mean, I was straining to hear the radio station. If, in our daily lives, through all the distractions, we keep our eyes on Christ… wouldn’t that be amazing? If we were willed ourselves to find more of God in the everyday, and strained to see His Goodness all around us- well, that would be pretty radical.
Even as I thought about that, those lyrics came back to me again, “what love is.” And of course, I knew the answer.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. ~John 15:13
And I started thinking… have we been loving people like that? Have we, the Church, been loving people with a willingness to put their wellbeing before our own? Perhaps, in most relationships, that is asking too much of humans. But have we been putting the needs of others before the wants of ourselves? I’m going to go ahead and say no. At least I haven’t. And before you fall off the other side of the horse, I don’t think Jesus is calling us to a miserable life where we only do what other people want and never get to do what we want. No! Sometimes Jesus wants us to tell people no. Sometimes Jesus wants us to tell ourselves no. Sometimes we need discipline, correction, or those other unpleasant growing pains that make us into better people. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. If we are in God’s will, we have that fruit in our lives. We have joy. Not misery. JOY!
So this is what happens when I am alone for longer than five minutes in the car. It starts with radio surfing and ends with the random wonderings of a woman who has a moment to herself.
My questions for today come in two parts:
- Are you pursuing God throughout the day? Like with a radio, are we straining to hear His voice through the static and the distractions?
- And are you loving people unconditionally? Without asking that they fix themselves or do something for you, are you choosing to care for others right where they are at?**
I’m sorry to say that I can’t answer “Definitely yes!” But I am happy to say that God is not through with me- I am a work in progress! And thankfully His mercy is new every morning.
Lord, thank you that we are able to accept your gentle correction. That you are mindful of us, and speak to us, and lovingly correct us. Please turn our steps, again, back to the path You have laid out before us. Help us to choose You, to choose Your Ways. Increase the love in our hearts, and the joy in our lives. And do this for Your Glory. In Jesus name, Amen.
*Yes, I’m weird. I try to listen to radio stations that are staticish.
**Again “love” is not what the media has portrayed it to be. It is not a license to do as you please to someone. It is not a ‘yes’ to anything you want. It does not make us slaves to someone else, it does not hurt us. If you want to know what love is, go back to the beginning of this post…