Chances are if you’ve been to a wedding, you’ve heard this verse:
“Suppose I speak in the languages of human beings or of angels. If I don’t have love, I am only a loud gong or a noisy cymbal. Suppose I have the gift of prophecy. Suppose I can understand all the secret things of God and know everything about him. And suppose I have enough faith to move mountains. If I don’t have love, I am nothing at all. Suppose I give everything I have to poor people. And suppose I give myself over to a difficult life so I can brag. If I don’t have love, I get nothing at all.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Not that these words aren’t applicable for marriage..they certainly are, but this is a verse that applies to life across the board. God is basically saying you can be the most intelligent, the most hard working, the most self sacrificing.. You can be (and do) all good things, but if you aren’t motivated by love, it means nothing…it’s literally as fruitless as a brilliant professor teaching in a language nobody understands. (I actually think I had a professor like that- total nightmare-ha!)
I remember when one of my kids was little, she needed her tonsils removed. I did my research and found the best physician for the job. I’ll give him all the credit he deserves..he was indeed a fine surgeon. But let me tell you, he had not an ounce of compassion in his heart- the man was a total robot… and I’ll never forget that. Like I said, he did the job, but you would have thought he was dealing with a car; not a scared little girl. Trust me when I tell you that it takes one to know one- and I’ll freely admit I have done my share of good things with a “sucky, stand-offish” attitude of my own.
Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud. It does not dishonor other people. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs. Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up.- 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
Being a loving person should not be dependent on outside variables and that’s the hardest part of the whole thing. Loving, or acting in a loving way, around those who seriously don’t deserve it, or when we just don’t maybe feel like it, is tough. I have often wondered if we actually have to “feel loved” to “act with love” and honestly, I don’t think we do. In other words, I think active, loving behavior is more about what’s going on inside of ourselves than what’s going on in our lives.
Love should be less of a response, reciprocation or reaction and more a consistent state of being.
We can be ticked off at a spouse, annoyed with the boss, exasperated by our kids and still act in ways that are loving because that’s simply who we are inside. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s always worth it…why? because “If I don’t have love, I am nothing” and that about says it all.