Some random thoughts from I Corinthians 13.

I Corinthians 13:4 says that “love is patient and kind” (NIV). Another translation says, “Love suffers long and is kind.” I love this about God. I’m not so sure about me. Suffering is bad enough, but to do it for a long time and to be kind in the midst of it, that’s asking a lot. But that’s what love does. Love has the capacity to endure.

I am always amazed when I meet nice, friendly people and later on discover they are dealing with a situation that would have put me on the “victim’s alert list.” But not those who have learned how to suffer long and be kind. What a gift to have, and what a gift it is to those around them.

Verse 4 continues, “Love does not envy.”

Imagine a world where your gain is my joy. I’ve noticed a strange thing among humanity, both the churched and the unchurched. When someone is hurting and found to be in great need, people drop what they’re doing to run and help. It is a glorious thing, and I always love to see it. But when something wonderful happens to those around us—a new job or raise, a new car or a new love—people rarely ring a bell and shout “Yahoo!” from the rooftops.

That’s because most people desperately want those things for themselves. And envy, with its mighty talons, grips hard upon the heart, releasing pangs of jealousy and comparison that run deep. We often run to help others in their weakness so that we can feel strong and appear whole. But when someone around us is being blessed, sometimes envy kicks in.

Envy is ugly. It can destroy even the closest of relationships.

Love, on the other hand, is free from comparison and can rejoice even when those around us are enjoying liberal blessings even when it appears that nothing is coming our way. I said appears because we often miss God’s goodness when we have a preordained idea of how we should be blessed. When His blessings come to us another way, we don’t see it as His love.

I heard a story a while back that made me both think and laugh. A group of people who were all going through personal hardships shared their stories with each other. As each one shared, he or she threw into the middle of the group an object that was symbolic to that situation. After hearing about all the heartache and pain that all the others were hearing, they each had a chance to pick up whichever object they desired, symbolizing that they were taking someone else’s pain and hardship, believing it to be a lesser heartache than their own. To the surprise of everyone, in the end each person chose his or her own burden. When asked why, they all had a similar answer. “I don’t like what I’m going through, but at least I have grace for my situation. I can’t imagine having to carry what so-and-so has to carry.”

God’s grace is there for every situation we go through.

Time to Love

We live in a world of comparison and competition, yet God made us all different. So often we can’t see the beauty within us, yet others see it clearly. We need to call out those things we see in each other and to share, bless, and help transform their perspectives so that they are not just seeing what others see, but they begin to see themselves as God sees them.

So I think it’s time for a revolution. It’s time for a love movement! From books to songs to TV and movies, it’s time we awakened the world to life’s most important subject: love. The Love Boat may have sailed away a long time ago, but to God, because His very nature is love, it’s time to once again get on board and sail into His ocean of affection. I know, that last sentence was a bit flowery, maybe even corny, but I like it.

As we begin this journey together, I want to say that I am not the expert on what it means to love. Jesus is. I am, like you, on my own journey to discover what it means to love as He loves. Looking at the state our world is in, I believe it’s time to fill the airways with the reality of the power of love. It’s time for a national conversation on the benefits of loving one another in real and practical ways— at home, at work, with family, friends, and even strangers. It’s time for a movement based on living lives of intentional affection. It’s time to love well.  

Movie: The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride – A fun romp from start to finish. With so many wonderful quotes it’s hard to not quote from it at some point in your life. “Inconceivable!” “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!” “Anybody want a peanut?” “Have fun storming the castle.” See what I mean? I barely scratched the surface. Find it again and just have some fun.

A voice for the ages

The Best of Eva Cassidy – If you’ve never heard of Eva Cassidy, you need to find her stuff and listen to it. This is one of my favorite albums. Unfortunately, she passed away in 1996 at the young age of 33. Her interpretations of popular songs are mesmerizing. With a jazz and blues background, she does wonders with Autumn Leaves, Fields of Gold, What a Wonderful World and many others. My favorite of hers is her beautiful version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Wow! Sit back and let her take you to another place.