Saturday, June 6, 2009
Lessons in Loving
I have been reading the Bible passage 1 Corinthians 13:4-7...
[[[Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.]]]
... just about everyday for the past couple weeks and just noticed this little story on the same page.
Lessons in Loving by Cheri Ruggles
"The tears started to well up in my eyes and roll down my cheeks. I was tired, so tired of the cold silence that seemed to echo against the concrete walls of our apartment.
My roommate and I were as different as we could be. When I wanted the door open, she wanted it closed. When I wanted friends over, she wanted privacy. The differences led to grudges, which turned into resentment and bitterness. We developed the habit of heading straight for our own rooms when we came home, closing the doors as tightly as we had closed ourselves off from each other; at least we were making it impossible to be hurt again.
My tears were nothing new, but this time, instead of feeling sorry for myself and defending my own actions, I decided to take responsibility for my own shortcomings. I realized how much the word 'I' had been in my mind and vocabulary lately. I had been trying to protect myself and make sure my needs were met, but God says that love 'is not self-seeking.' Did I ever stop and think, 'What does she need?' The answer to that question was humbling.
None of the descriptions of love in 1 Corinthians 13 is a natural response, because we are selfish by nature. Showing others we love them is much harder than telling them. But if we honestly want to learn how to love, God will show us how. We may make mistakes in the process, but he will put us back on the right track if we are willing to try."
Also this. It's a long one, but worth breaking down:
1 John 4:7-21
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.