Friday, January 8, 2010

This year's obsession: love

Did you know that in the original Greek, I Corinthians 13:4-7 is a big old list of verbs?  Not love IS but love DOES.  This makes sense to me.

I wonder why it wasn't translated as a list of adverbs (love acts patiently, etc.), not that they're much better. 

Love is action.  We show our love by what we do.

"Love is not emotion.  Love affects the emotions."

"God commands us to love.  He is not telling us what to feel but what to do."

I want to love God and others the way I'm supposed to.  It is a lifted burden to hear it confirmed that God is not telling me that I'm always supposed to feel patient, kind, gentle, etc., because I can't. 

It is, of course, another kind of burden entirely to figure out how to act patiently, gently, kindly, when, say, my incompetent boss is clearly and totally being ridiculous and causing me and others trouble.  And another to figure out where honesty fits in here. 

I like to be too honest; it cause more pain than it needs to.  How do I reconcile how I feel with how I'm supposed to act, and how do I keep my integrity? 

As I get older, I find myself even less tolerant of masks.  I prefer blunt honesty (in theory) (possibly because I don't get much of it in practice).  God demands honesty from us, I think.  He knows us better than we know ourselves, so there's absolutely nothing we can hide from Him and much He can reveal to us if we're being honest and open.  Lying just doesn't work.

So how do I love AND be honest?  There is likely no perfect balance because the world is fallen, and people are broken, and things don't work right here anymore.  How shall we then live? 

Someone told me that I seem obsessed with the meanings of words, and I'd like to nominate love as this year's obsession.  It's the highest commandment, and the second is like it: love.  In the end, it's what remains.  It's what matters most now.  I should be obsessing about it.  How do I make my actions love?

I would like it if you'd join me and throw out any thoughts you have on the topic as we go.  Quotes are great, if you come across any good ones.  I love stories, too, so please narrate times you get things right (feel free to tell them as stories you heard from friends or saw someone else do if that's more comfortable for you).  I love good, practical examples of love in action (as opposed to love inaction, I suppose).

How have you loved or been loved or seen love done right so far this year?

1 comment:

  1. Love - real simple.

    Behave as if you love someone and you eventually will. Even if you never do, you are still living right.

    Interesting that almost all marriages in human history have been 'arranged' and those have less divorce, violence, and abuse than 'love marriages.'

    They don't call it 'conjugal DUTY' for nothing.