Love is patient. Love is kind.
At marriage retreat last weekend I was running through the well known love chapter in the Bible. 1 Corinthians 13 is right up there with John 3:16 for the sheer quantity of times it's included on printed products and memes, wedding invitations and Instagram photos.
This time as I read it I ticked through the list considering if my life included the various aspects of love. It's a good challenge as a marriage, parenting, friendship and internal bitterness checkup.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
I fail on most of these daily. This time though my heart stopped at the "rejoices with the truth" bit and I've been pondering this line all week.
I rejoice a lot. I cheer when my kids smile and when the resident chef makes a delicious dinner. I smile when I cash a paycheck. I rejoice when my team wins.
Problem is I rejoice other times too. I smirk when people I disagree with are caught in a lie. I high five snarky remarks. I don't think that's what the love chapter would call rejoicing with truth.
Then my internal dialogue continued. How do I respond when my spouse tells the truth? When my kids do? When I don't like the truth they speak? Consider.
Me. I have a great idea! Let's (fill in the blank with my random request)
Resident Chef: That won't work today. (Please note he is speaking truth)
Me to child: How was your day? Did you do piano?
Child: cringes. Not yet. (Please note she's speaking truth)
Me: Grrr! Why not?!?
Hmmmm. Not rejoicing. Mostly I rejoice when I like things and I pout when I don't. I'm not even considering the truth. Sigh.
All week I've been wondering what my life would look like if I embraced this rejoicing with truth. If instead of pouting or growling I tried love.
Love says: Thank you for telling me. I can help you with this problem. I'm grateful you trust me. We can fix it. I am so glad I understand better now. I didn't know that part of the story.
No sighs. No pouts. Love looks like grace and rejoices with truth.
I heard a story about two friends walking into a shopping mall. By the front door stood a shabbily dressed woman holding a sign. The sign said "Please help, my baby is sick. We need money for the doctor." The first friend pulled out a $10 bill and pressed it to the woman's hand. As the friends walked away the second friend laughed and said "Oh man! You got scammed! I know her and she has no kids!"
The first man smiled and replied "Wonderful! I'm so glad there is no sick baby!"
I want to see the truth and rejoice with the truth. Truth is on my bad days God loves me. In the midst of my failures He extends grace. When I seek help He extends his hand. He rejoices when I confess. Cheers when I come home.
Knowing why they trusted God, they knew why the known facts were never all the facts. - OS Guinness. Today try planting your feet on eternal truth. Then try responding with grace to the truths of your friends and family. Let me know what you think in the comments. How do you respond to truth? I'm trying today.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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