The Greatest of These is Love (Beyond Our Walls)

God is challenging me today. The devotion from my church is entitled The Way of Love and references 1 Corinthians 13:13 part of which is the title for this blog post.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

I look at this chapter which is known as the ‘love chapter’ in Scripture and think, ‘Do I have this kind of love for people?’ My first thought is, of course, I do. But then I look at the verses again, especially verses 4-7, and realize I’m not so sure.

“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.”

Whoa! I’m not like that. Not nearly close enough to what Jesus wants from me. My love for people is more like what you’re not supposed to do than what you are supposed to do. I look at my heart after reading these verses and am ashamed.

I mention this today because of two events that have happened over the last two days. The first of these events happened yesterday. I came to a realization of why discussions about money bother me so much. In the past, money has been used against me as a weapon by churches (since I’ve been an adult) and by people. Since I’ve never had a lot of money to give or been completely absorbed with making money, I’ve had love withheld from me–from people who said they were Christians and from people who were close to me. It is painful to realize how many times in my life money or the lack of it has been used to beat me down. So, as you can imagine, discussions about the capital campaign are discussions that hurt right now.

The other thing happened earlier this morning. I woke up to see something in my emails about someone needing help. God said, ‘You need to go do that.’ I’m like, ‘Uh, no God, I can’t. I’m not qualified. You need special training to do that.’ We debated about it for a while because not only did I not feel qualified, I wasn’t sure I wanted to because of other situations that have happened in the past. Nice way for me to make excuses, right?  😦

I figured out something though by looking at both of these situations. I struggle with love, money, and not feeling worthy or qualified because it’s not God’s love that fills me all of the time. Sometimes I try to use my own love for situations and for people, and it’s not nearly enough. Love by itself will never be enough to deal with anything. It’s only when you are loving from the well of God’s love deep inside your heart that God can work miracles in your life and in this world.

I’m still working through these situations, but I’m going to let God lead me first in what I need to do. So thankful for my God who loves me unconditionally, who gives me words to write, and who gives us all power to love others in His name!

God’s blessings on all of you today!

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