I saw a picture this morning on Twitter, simply saying 1 Corinthians 13, Love is forever. For those of you that are not familiar is it a fairly famous, heavily quoted chapter about love. Make sure to give yourself time to read the entire chapter and let it sink in. The message changes from surface to extraordinary. Thank You Lord!!
On the surface it is, okay about love. We all get it, and easily brush it off as, "yeah I already know this". Try this, Think about love from a different perspective, what happens if it isn't there. You don't have love. Love, real love, true love, it is so powerful, so critical without it you have NOTHING. More, anything you do becomes pointless, it will not be blessed, it will be a brutal road.
You can speak all the languages of the entire world and of the Angels... How beautiful and awesome right. Well without love it is just static, just noise. How about this, your faith is so strong you can move mountains... Huge wow (BTW Matthew 21 says we can have this faith if we want it). But seriously, that is crazy wow right. Well God says, so what. Without love it is pointless. So break it down for us Sam, how about this; what does it mean if I give everything I have a way to the poor without love in my heart (meaning my purpose wasn't good, it wasn't from a place of love). Where would it be then, how about out of lust, out of pride, or wanting to pain others and throw yourself in as a victim a martyr.
Yep that's the ticket, that hits home. How many times have you done something for someone, that you didn't want to do, but you had to prove or make sure that your good works were being seen!?!?!? Like in your head you are thinking, I can't believe that friend, partner, or workmate would accuse me of being self centered. Saying I never do anything for anyone, I do stuff all the time; and you launch into showing them! Showing everyone just how selfless you are, even how good or smart you are applies (now what you do next is go into prove mode, which are performance based actions. You are seeking approval or love from your actions - and what happens - it comes back void). You see you didn't do those actions, good works from a pure place of love, they actually came from a place of anger. Wow right! So where is your heart, your true motivation?
How about one of those, "I will show them competitive moments". Someone called you a loser or said no way you can't do "that". You then emediately jump into prove it mode again and sometimes we are successful, those of us that have perseverance and a true sense of competitiveness. Why did I say that? You might want to ask, Sam are you saying if i don't haven perseverance, nor a competitive spirit I am the group that can't do it? Well that is part of it. The other part is what is most important and my point this morning. I will start with this:
Because it takes a while to finally get your purpose straight, get our heads screwed on straight, you know what I'm going to say right. Be centered from a place of love. Since we have such a hard time getting this, I mean some people never get it; and true success and happiness is dependent upon it. So "you can do it", if you can handle the long road to finally getting it, or you start out w a true spirit of love to begin with!
So why not focus on love, learn its true meaning, apply it to your actions, motives, gain a valued direction (e.g., focus on those genuine things you care about - not the outcome) and there you will find it - the power of love. Focusing on the outcome for example, is ME centered. What's in it for me. It keeps you on the sideline judging, performing, measuring up... And yes leads to failures and pain. Because as the verses below point out, without LOVE, it doesn't matter how great, it is NOTHING!! So stop learning the lesson over and over again, get out of ME mode, and not selfless martyr mode either; YOUR LOVE CENTERED VALUES! So to one far side narsist total ME monger, other side Poor me, no since of self worth, Toal Victum Martyr. We want the middle and for all the right! Love based reasons, it isn't easy at all... But it is TOTALLY WORTH IT!! Last example, two people go into a big convention full of people; one of you has a ME based agenda, the other is focused on caring about people, the value add and just being genuine... Which one comes away from that group meeting w real connections, friends, and legitimate business opportunities!?!?!?!?
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
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.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 NIV
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