“…But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 12)
Why is love so vital? A look at 1 Corinthians 13 and 1 John 4 describes love and its outworking.
I want to touch very briefly on ONE ASPECT OF LOVE: that is keeping short accounts.
‘Do not let the sun go down on your anger’ wrote Solomon. If we go to bed having made peace with whomever we might have “had words” with in the day, we — and they — will sleep better.
Keeping alive conversation, relationship in spite of sore feelings or disappointments means we have shalom, GOD’s peace, and between ourselves and another person, his is such a huge expression of respect and love.
We can’t force ourselves to forgive, but we can ask for GOD’s help. Even if we aren’t ready to forgive another person whom we feel has wronged us (sometimes our emotions are stronger than our spirit within us and the emotions trump what we know spiritually we need to do), it is important that we still keep the relationship, the conversation going. How many of us have felt shut down by someone who doesn’t even tell us why they are angry? Time Out is valuable, but after a time of a breather, we do need to come back together to work out how to move forward.
Festering and Offence
It’s too easy to judge another person’s behaviour without knowing the facts. And in today’s climate, it’s far too easy to get offended as the mood of society seems to encourage it. But stewing rather than communicating is the stuff of ulcers; and negative emotion robs us of joy. Instead, let us work out our own way to forge ahead, recognising hurt and disappointment but not living in it indefinitely. “GOD has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) That means when we focus on hurt and disappointment, then fear creeps in to tell us we must protect and defend ourselves, rather than allowing GOD’s love and protection over us. Instead, let us give way to love and the power of GOD, and experience a calm mind rather than one full of agitation. This will bring us into a deeper revelation of GOD, of ourselves in Him, and even of the other person with whom we have had a clash.
I’d like to leave you with this one particular scripture on which to meditate, to contemplate, and to pray:
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:7-11)
Bless you beloved.