Monday, February 3, 2014

It's "Old Hat" but let's try to look at it as if for the first time

Love is patient and kind
Love is not jealous or boastful 
or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable
and it keeps no record
of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice
but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up,
never loses faith,
is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance.

I've been thinking about this passage a lot lately.  I have been realizing that it's really easy to get complacent about words that I memorized long ago.  But when I spend time thinking about what each of these statements really means, I realize that I have a long way to go.

And I have a lot of people that I choose to love.  And there are even more people that I need to love, even though it's not my natural inclination.  Even though it's difficult.  

So, I am reading this every day this month, in an effort to understand love a little better.  As I read through this list, there are things that love is and isn't.  Do I see the good in me?  Do I see the bad?  As my kids are tired of hearing me say, I can't change other people's behaviour, but I can change my own.  The way I love has to start with a change within myself.

The one that always stands out to me is "... it keeps no record of being wronged."  It is so easy to hold on to the things that our loved ones have done wrong so we can remind them of it later on.  But real love doesn't do that.  Real love forgives and moves on.

Look through the list of what love does and doesn't do.  Where do you see yourself struggling?  It's probably different with each person in your life.  We love different people in different ways.

I challenge you to look at this passage each day this month and look at each attribute of love to see where you need to make changes.  Take a day to look at your spouse, one day each for your children, your parents, your dearest friends, your aquaintances...  How do you love and how do you need to change that?

I'm guessing that the best gift you can give those dearest to you this Valentine's Day is to fine-tune the way you love them.