Love 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. 1 Corinthians 13:4b-5
When we reflect on all the “love is nots” in the Bible, it can feel so overwhelming. It can feel like a constant defeat to look at the list of what love is meant to be. I think if we are each honest we would admit that we can never really live up to all of that, all the time. At least I know that I can’t.
When I began to unfold these thoughts the other day, I heard, “Love is not…” and the list unfurled, but then I heard, “but Jesus.”
I think that’s the whole point. We could never live up to the Biblical definition of love, but Jesus. I believe it’s things like this that remind us and keep us ever focused on the fact that we so desperately need Jesus.
It’s true we know that we cannot get to heaven without having Jesus in our hearts. Likewise, we are dependent upon Him for our every interaction. We will never achieve the absolute pure expression of love while we are on this earth, but Jesus. He continually guides and refines and molds us into more of His likeness.
Instead of letting the list of “does nots” make us feel defeated and downtrodden, what if we continually allow it to feel like a goal. Something to reach for and grow closer to every day. I think that is what God intends.
He first uses His word to convict, then to mold us.
I have grown to truly love that holy and gentle conviction He gives. He is so gentle all the time. His reprimand has never been heavy handed in my life. No, He’s been more like a gentle hand leading me in the way everlasting. Will you allow Him to do the same for you? Can you stop being afraid of failure and just let your process be….well…. a process? Our lives are a constant process and then one day we arrive, not while on this earth, but in heaven. Looking into the face of the Father Who has always loved us and never forsaken us. Full of compassion and wisdom and grace, that’s my Daddy.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I posses to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3