Here’s a familiar verse of scripture, in fact, so familiar, many who don’t know God personally, can quote it better than a line from Shakespeare. “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. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)
True, we can replace the word “love” with “God” – because God IS love.
When being honest with myself, if I put myself in place of the word “love”, it goes more like this:
I am often impatient and unkind, I’m rude. If I’m proud and boasting, I don’t even recognize it, so what does that say? I seek liberty for myself above that of others. I’m far too easily angered, even by petty things, I repeatedly rehearse the wrongs of others that give voice to my complaints in life. I could be accused and found guilty of being over-protective at times, yet I can excuse wrongs done, if I’m the one doing them. I’m probably more trusting of people than I am of God. I do hope, but sometimes I wonder if my hope is misplaced. My perseverance can be paper thin. And yes, I fail.
So, though love is in me, I quench it. I look for excuses (and call them reasons) to be selfish with it. But because I’ve invited God to live in and through me, I grow in Him daily, and He grows in me – we’re becoming One. And the more I give place to Him and yield to His love for me, the more He loves through me.
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:7&8 (KJV)
Letting Him love me is key, even when feelings of selfishness or unworthiness try to overtake me; He loves me.