only help my unbelief


The greatest of these
November 15, 2008, 11:37 am
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I read this week that one of the best ways to destroy your blog is to say something like “Sorry I haven’t posted in so long.” So I’m not going to say that.

But it has been a while.

This past week has been busy in ways that I like being busy. I don’t like the kind of busy that results from me wasting time in front of my computer screen. I’ve spent time with my family, gone to the library, started teaching myself a new language, and actually read real books for fun. And work and eating and all that.

I’ve also listened to a lot of sermons on my iPod, most of them from 1 Corinthians 13. While I’ve read that chapter of the Bible hundreds of times, it is finally beginning to penetrate my soul.

As I look back on the last several years, back through college and high school, I see a lot of things. I see pride. I see self-confidence and self-reliance. I see perseverance without kindness. I see insecurity.

I don’t see love. And when I think about all the things I struggle with now, I’m realizing that love is the solution.

Not love as some sort of ethereal concept that doesn’t have real implications, but love as a choice, love as something powerful, love that comes from God, who calls Himself Love.

All my fears of others’ rejection would cease if I believed that God loved me, and that loving other people doesn’t mean being loved in return.

All my worries about the future would end if I believed that God loved me, and that Christian loves me, too.

All my little annoyances with people would go away if I just truly believed that they’re made in the image of God, and that I do more than annoy God a little, and yet He loves me anyway.

Love means asking others questions about their lives before you butt in with everything you want to say.

Love means saying hard things, honest things, if it will speak truth into someone else’s life.

Love means sacrificing everything you want and think you deserve for someone else’s well-being.

Love means speaking well of other people, even when they’ve hurt you deeply.

God has been slowly starting these things in my heart this past week, and I haven’t succeeded at any of them, really. But it is making me watch my tongue, and stay in prayer more, and want to read my Bible more.

And I think the biggest realization was that all of the things I do that I thought were loving are no more than what Paul describes at the beginning of 1 Corinthians 13. It’s possible for me to teach the three-year-old Sunday School class and be completely devoid of all love. It’s possible to spend an evening with Christian, enjoying his company, but do it without loving him at all. It’s possible to sacrifice time and energy to eat dinner with a friend, and not love her at all in the process.

It’s not very encouraging to look back at my life and see such a lack of love, but it gives me great encouragement to realize that through all of that, God never stopped loving me. And He will keep loving me as He teaches me how to love.

Hallelujah.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Well said! Your commentary on what love means in a practical sense is convicting and motivating. Oh that God would grow His love in us! Thanks for being brutally honest. I love it. 🙂

And I don’t mind that you haven’t posted recently. It’s nice to hear from you. 🙂 I think we should adopt a no-guilt blog rule. What do you think?

Comment by erinstraza

Thanks, Erin. And I’m all with the no-guilt blog rule. 🙂

Comment by Chelsey




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