Take the lid off of your love.
1 Corinthians 13:3-10 The Message
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end. Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
It’s interesting when I look at my journey through ministry. Along the way I’ve met some great people; authentic and truly loving people. I’ve also met some bad people; greedy and selfish. It’s interesting because in my mind they fell into the same category: “ministry friends.” You would think with a label like that they would be the best friends a person could have. Unfortunately the opposite is true. This past year I’ve learned that true friends stick with you and love you through thick and thin. Extending grace is easier when you’ve needed grace. Most religious people have a hard time extending grace because either they forgot where they came from or they are living a self-righteous life. Both are huge errors when it comes to walking out love.
As I read the passage above it really got me thinking about my love walk. I had the image of a jar with a lid on it. If I take the lid off then everything inside can be let out. If I’m a jar full of the love of God, then do I keep the lid on? Am I limited in my love? Do I really love people or do I love the idea of loving people? Either way when people you say you love end up doing something stupid and you are disappointed by them or they betray you somehow, how do you react? Do you judge them? Do you want them to pay? OR Do you react with love? Do you choose to cover, encourage, protect? When everyone walks out, true love stays. True love isn’t limited by someone else’s opinion. “Well Ashley I don’t want to be associated with someone like that. I’ll just love them from a distance.”, you might say. Ok, well Jesus associated with people “like that” He walked with people through their sin and restored them. You can’t “love people from a distance” because love does. Love is involved. Love takes action.
I found most of my “ministry friends” were just people who really don’t understand love. Yes, they may lead big churches, preach all over the world, and do cool ministry stuff but if we are to truly do ministry like Jesus, we should love those who deserve judgement. These days my true friends love me for me, not for what I can do for them.
This week, take the lid off of your love.
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Please leave your thoughts if you feel led and let’s continue the conversation! May God bless you!