Thursday, February 13, 2014

What it means to love

And these three remain, faith hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.

Valentine's day and love go together. I suppose. Aside from the fun part of the day - the hearts, the cards, the candy - I don't make a big deal about the day. Love is bigger than just the day. Its more than just romance. Its about relationship.

I think sometimes my faith and hope get in the way of my capacity to love.

Do you ever get to the point of getting to know someone when a difference holds you back from becoming closer friends? I have. Perhaps you disagree on how to interpret the Scriptures. Or perhaps this person doesn't read the Bible at all. Or perhaps their lifestyle is the exact opposite of how you live and how you believe God asks you to live? Or maybe they think the things you like are stupid? We've all probably been through this. We learn to make safe friends, people like ourselves, people who will return our love.

Even today, I'm most comfortable with a musician, Trekkie (or Whovian), or someone who shares my beliefs. I've found over the years, though, that I share different core beliefs with different people. I have found that I have more similarities with others than I'd realized as my younger self. As a teenager, I had a tendency to distance myself from those who didn't believe in the same way I did. I was concerned and loved those who didn't believe, but I always felt separate.

As I've grown-up, I've come to understand that God wants me to love. He wants me to love with His love, a love so profound that it breaks down all kinds of separating walls. He wants me to love the unlovable and those who are different.

Yeshua was criticized for breaking bread with those who were considered unworthy. He tended to talk to the unwanted, eat with the unpopular, heal on the wrong days. In this century, don't you think Yeshua would accompany people to happy hour? Wouldn't He go to the worst parts of the cities despite the threat of shootings? Wouldn't He shake your hand, even if you were in the middle of the NoroVirus? He loves when its inconvenient and messy.

I still am not sure I understand how to love people while believing that what they are doing is wrong, without compromising truth. But this passage encourages me, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known." (1 Corinthians 13:12 TLV) I don't have to know! I know that love is the greatest. I need to follow the example Yeshua put before us, and love others. Meanwhile, I'll trust God for the rest.

But now these three remain— faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.(1 Corinthians 13:13 TLV)

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