1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never ends.
This is true love.
We talk about love all the time, don’t we? “How do you know if it’s true love?” “How can I show my love?” “Does he love me? I wanna know! How can I tell if he loves me so?”
The point is that love is a verb. It is an action word – a doing word. And the person doing the loving is YOU!
11 practical ways to demonstrate love in action:
- Be patient. Don’t expect the person you love to change over night – or at all.
- Be kind. Cutting words and cold sarcasm are destructive weapons, destroying souls in their wake.
- Don’t envy, and don’t boast. Don’t crave what someone else has. Don’t begrudge them their success or joy. And don’t rub their noses in yours.
- Remember that you’re no better than anyone else. Don’t be arrogant. No one is inferior to you. Don’t be rude. No one deserves that. Ever. And it demeans you to behave that way.
- Don’t demand your own way. What are you? A Four year old? Since when is getting your own way the best thing – even if you ARE right?
- Don’t be irritable or resentful. I battle with this. I resent what I perceive as me having to do everything while Papa Bear seems to me to be doing nothing. It makes me irritable, cold and mean. And then it makes me ashamed when I realise all he has done, and how I have allowed in self-pity like a petulant child. I could save myself a lot of mojo-sapping negativity by simply applying this principle. Just don’t let it get to you. It’s never worth it.
- Don’t celebrate poor responses to life’s trials. That means “don’t laugh at your girl friend’s mean joke about her useless husband.” It’s not funny, it’s not kind, and it does no one any good. Even if it is accurate and witty.
- Rejoice in the truth. The truth is, you love that person because God loves that person. And because God loves you. Not because they (or you!) deserve it. We deserve nothing. We get infinite riches. That’s definitely something to rejoice about in my book!
- Take it (you can, and you must); endure it. Loving someone difficult may be hard. Bear it. You can bear it, I promise you. Endure what you face now. It will be worth it in the long run. It really, truly will.
- Believe in the person you love; hope for the results you desire. No matter what they do to erode your faith, believe. Hope for the change and, infinitely more importantly, be the change. It doesn’t start anywhere but with YOU. And even if you never see the future you’ve been hoping for, your faith will be counted for righteousness.
- Never give up. Hang in there when it’s tough. Hold on tight to your Saviour: He is your anchor. Stay the course and look ahead: the light IS there, no matter how far the end of your tunnel may seem to be.
I want to run this race and be proud of my results. I want to run well. I want to run to the end. I don’t need to be happy as much as I need to be successful. Sometimes, those two things are not the same thing; sometimes they don’t go together. Sometimes, doing the right thing, taking the high road, behaving with dignity and grace, makes you very sad indeed. But it is right. Not in the self-justifying sense of the word, but in the absolute sense of the word. No one can doubt that self-sacrifice for the good of another human being is noble and – well, good. So do it.
John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
So lay down your life. Give it up. Give up the small dreams you may have nurtured for a fairy tale ever after, and choose instead the glory of a rich, hard-won eternity. You don’t need a half-life when you give your all to get it all, and gain a life along the way.
Live intentionally. Live your best.
– By Vanessa Davies – daily discovering Joy on a Shoestring.
If you’ve decided to live your best, please let me know. Did you start today? Last week? Last year? If not, what’s holding you back? I’d love to hear from you.