This week I want to talk some about love….
Love seems complicated. Maybe it shouldn’t be…maybe it only seems that way…maybe we make it that way…but how many of you feel that way—that love seems complicated?
One of the reasons that love seems so complicated is because it is a word we use in so many different ways and for many different things. In fact, I submit to you that there are a thousand different meanings for the word love floating around in our world on any given day. We say we love pizza, we love the Red Sox, we love to laugh, we love to cook, we love our mom and dad, we love our husband or wife, we love our neighbor as ourselves, we love God…
Now “love” in each of those instances means something a little different from the others doesn’t it.
I can illustrate this real quick. Take a minute right new and go find your wife or husband or a close friend and them him/her you love him/her like you love pizza. Did you notice the laughter, balking, or the cold stares you got back? What you should be learning from that is that there is a big difference between the love for pizza and the love for a wife!
I think we have to admit that “love” has become a catch-all term for a wide number of different meanings and applications.
In light of this, my question this morning is: do we know, do we understand, what that Spiritual love that God wants us to have for one another is? Do we know what that love looks like? What does love, the kind of love God has for us and wants us to have for others, look like?
Paul answers that question pretty clearly for us in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV).
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.
That description of love is very simple, straightforward, and easy to understand right? There are no complicated words or concepts there.
What I have been learning is that while I understand that love is shown by being patient, the people I find myself with, the problems I face, and places I find myself in, often tempt me to lose my patience! I understand what it means to be kind. And sure there are some people it is easy to be kind to, and there are people we want to be kind to, but we all know there are plenty more people that motivate us to leave “kind” behind…know what I’m saying?
The challenge isn’t in understanding the concept of spiritual love, the challenge is in living it! That, my friends, is where it gets complicated!