Are We Really Showing Love Like Jesus?

18 February 2013

     An anon that I follow on Twitter posted about a lesson that her youth pastor did on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. He had the teens read the verse and every time the word love came up they were to replace it with their name. He used this as a way to show them that we do not really love like Jesus. Out of curiosity, I want to take a closer look at this.

Here is the original passage:
     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 truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. -1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Here it is with my name inserted where the words love and it come up:
     Shelbi is patient, Shelbi is kind. Shelbi does not envy, Shelbi does not boast, Shelbi is not proud. Shelbi does not dishonor others, Shelbi is not self-seeking, Shelbi is not easily angered, Shelbi keeps no records of wrongs. Shelbi does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. Shelbi always protects, [Shelbi] always trusts, [Shelbi] always hopes, [Shelbi] always perseveres.

Take a moment if you wish, to read it with your name inserted or to write it down.

     Looking at things that way changes the whole meaning of what love is and how we show it to others. While reading that I realized just how many of those I am not good at, nor do I do on a regular basis. Yet we as Christians are supposed to love like Jesus loved. Jesus loved just like this, which means we should love this way as well. Yet how often do we pay attention to whether or not we are loving this way.

I know personally that I do not pay attention to whether or not I am doing these things.

     Patience. I am not patient all the time. Some times I just get tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed, or any number of things, and any semblance of patience is lost. Now I may be able to stay patient for quite a long while, but eventually I get worn down and I grow impatient. God has definitely been working on me in regards to this matter over the last year or so. However, there are still times when I realize that I need to be more mindful of my patience. I may not always voice my impatience out loud, but a lot of times I may dwell on it in my mind, which is just as bad as talking about it out loud. I have to ask God to work on my patience on a daily basis.

     Kindness. This one can go hand in hand with patience. I am generally kind regardless of my patience, but some times I am not in a good mood or have had a bad day and I do not always treat or react to people in the kindest manner. I am working on this on a regular basis.

     Envy. Although this is something that many people do not want to talk about, at least not on a regular basis, it is something that is highly prevalent in our daily lives. Personally I know that I often do deal envy on a fairly regular basis. It may be about something something or it may be about something more serious and more personal. While what I am envious of may change and may not be of the greatest importance, but the fact that I am envious at all is a huge deal and something that I need to ask God to help me with  on a daily basis.

     Boasting. Some times it just feels good to tell people about what we did and how great we did at it. However, some times we take it a little too far and we talk about how much better we are than someone else or how much praise we got from someone in regards to something, or any number of things. While I do not do it often, I do find myself dealing with this every now and then.

     Proud. I do not even have to go into detail. This one is simple and straight forward and I deal with it often.

     Dishonoring Others. I also do  not think I need to go into detail on this one (at least not at this point), but I do have moments some times where it does happen, even if it is unintentional.

     Self-seeking. Although I may not like to admit it, I do half a lot of selfish tendencies. These tendencies are not beneficial for me or for anyone else I come into contact with. This is something that we are taught to think of as something that is not an issue, but as Christians we know that it is a very big issue. One that can wreak havoc in our lives and it keeps us from being able to show love in the way that we should.

     Easily Angered. Another one that I feel that I do not need to go into detail on. I definitely do need to work on not being so easily angered and I need to make sure that I ask God to help me in this area.

     No Records of Wrongs. I definitely do not go into this one. I need to make sure to ask God to help me to not hold grudges and dwell on them. It is not beneficial to me or anyone else.

     I could keep going but I do not want this post to be too long. I could most definitely go into far more detail with all of these things, which would ultimately make my point. We do not do as well as we should when it comes to how we love others like Jesus. We want to say that we are showing His love through numerous things, but are we really showing it in the way we act and in are attitudes? Do they reflect Jesus' love to those we come in contact with?

     I think that this is a good reminder for all of us to make sure that we are paying attention to ourselves and asking God to work on us in all of these areas. We will never be perfect here on Earth, but He can help to shape us towards being more like Him on a daily basis. With His help we have the ability to show His love to those around us in the best way possible. Looking at love in this manner is not natural for us, but I think it is something that we should be doing on a regular basis. It is really humbling when we do so.

We are to love like Jesus and I think this is a great way to evaluate whether we are or not.

Are you showing love like Jesus? Or do you need to work on somethings with the help of God?

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