“I love you.”
She says it so freely, and so frequently, I sometimes wonder if she just wants to hear herself speak. But it’s more than that – when my four-year old feels something, she says it. Her love isn’t dependent on things I can do for her, it simply – is.
Loving others can be so messy sometimes. People offer us opportunities and rewards based on what we can do for them. There are expectations put on friendships and relationships that make things so very hard. We don’t simply love because God first loved us – we love because of fame and recognition and status and followers.
On my jealousy journey I’ve noticed that how I feel about the people in my community needs to line up with what God says about how we’re to love each other – otherwise I see projects and platforms instead of people.
- Read 1 Corinthians 13:4 in any Scripture translation you prefer.
- Now, grab a notebook, post-it, or note card and write it out.
There are two things love is: patient and kind.
And there are three things it is not: envious, boastful, or conceited.
This is where it starts to get painful for me. When God starts to show me the ways that I have been less than patient (motherhood, anyone?) or kind. It happens so easily – a short comment here, a snarky thought there. It seems innocent enough, especially when we’re scrolling through Facebook where no one can hear what’s happening inside of our heads.
But God knows exactly what’s happening in our hearts. It’s a short road from an unkind thought about a tweet to feeling envious about something you wish you had or think you deserve. The next thing you know you’ve unfollowed someone you used to admire, and you’re no longer in a community with like-minded friends because you’d rather be lonely than uninvited. The enemy knows all the loopholes to get us to fall away from the good path God has set for us. He knows exactly the small cracks that will cause big division. God knows that we weren’t created to be both kind and conceited. You can’t be patient and boastful. It’s impossible.
If you have to choose one, which one will you choose?
- How well are you loving others right now?
- Are there any ways you’ve wandered just slightly off the path God has for you?
- How can you show genuine kindness and love to someone today?