1 Corinthians 13:4- “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
Interpretation: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Whoa. “I love you” used to be more of a slang term or a catch phrase amongst my group of friends. Something that was just sort of tacked on to the end of every sentence, good or bad, like, “Ok bye, love you,” or, “you’re stupid I love you.” Love was my college friends group motto- we were all about it and wanted to spread it to everyone. But it was only inch deep. It became, “I love you, but I really love you when you drive us around. I only love you when you act this way, I really love you when I’m partying but after that you’re on your own.” Impatience, irritation, jealousy, bragging, and pride became the new focus of my group of friends, and certainly my own heart. We were all lured in by this phrase, “I love you,” but then slowly eaten alive by each other and turned back out into the world alone. People like to say “I love you,” but without knowing what love is, how can it be so? And without knowing where it comes from, how can it be managed? Without understanding why we have the ability to love each other and care for one another and without understanding who it is that loves us unconditionally and cares for us, how can we be bold enough to even claim the sentence “I love you” for ourselves? It should be off limits. My “I love yous” turned to “I want you, I fear you, I use you, and I hate you.” It is interesting that my whole group of friends started off eating ecstasy and running around campus telling strangers they were awesome and loving each other, and by the end of my year and a half at college only three or four of us out of a group of over 10 were not full-blown heroin addicts. It is funny how people start off thinking they are living for love, and realize at the end that they are just living for themselves. Funny, and so sad. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. God pulled me out of this fake conditional affection bubble, and showed me love. He revealed to me His patience with me, and His kindness. He didn’t do it in an envious way or proud or rubbing it in my face that He saved me and that I am useless without Him. He just did it in love. I am still praying for all of my college friends who I can honestly say that I genuinely love so much, now that I know more of the definition. So God is reminding me to be with them how He was with me. Be patient with them, they don’t know the Lord yet so keep being kind. And don’t let feelings of resentment or pride spring up, and definitely don’t start thinking I’m so special because He revealed Himself to me first; That’s just His grace. They may not fully understand love because they don’t understand how loved they are by Jesus, but they are definitely people who want love, and who God would use for great things, if they understood that.
Application: I sent 5 letters out last week, but this week I have three specific people on my heart, all friends from college. I will write and mail out these three letters by Friday, and be praying all week for God to soften their hearts and draw them closer to Him.