Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines the word LOVE as a ‘warm attachment, enthusiasm or affection for something or someone.’ Not exactly something any of us would want to do without.
How can anyone deny that having (or receiving) a sense of enthusiasm, warmth, or affection for or from others is not a constant fix on many of our daily prayer lists?
For those of you who are feeling underappreciated at work, underappreciated by family members and friends, or at times, may even feel underappreciated by God, it’s easy to see how we all could use a little bit of the kind of love Webster describes above. There’s just a slight problem: God describes love a totally different way.
1 Corinthians 13 (a passage familiar to many of us) has a very interesting way of describing love.
Love suffers long. And is kind.
(Sounds strange, right? Honestly, who wants to be kind after suffering?)
Love does not envy. Love does not boast or is proud. Love does not behave rudely. It is not easily angered. It keeps no wrongs. (Keeps no wrongs? Not proud? You must not know what I’m going through…)
Love rejoices in truth. It bears all things. Believes all things. Love hopes all things. Endures all things. (Bearing? Enduring? What happen to the warmth? The affection?)
Love never fails.
Not exactly the kind of love list you and I make as believers, is it? In a day and age when so many of us are bombarded by self-improvement guides and books, social networking sites dedicated to insuring every one can see your “face” or stop by your “space,” God seems to pose an interesting question to each of us as believers:
Are we ready to receive some TOUGH love?
Are we willing to move beyond our needs and circumstances to see the needs of others? Can we stand to believe, to hope, and most of all, to endure for someone other than ourselves? It’s a tough question, but TOUGH is just what real love can be at times.
Today, make it a point to love as God loves. What an incredible example God set before us all over 2,000 years ago. An example that has remained unmatched and uncontested.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16.)
Now that’s what I call…tough love.
Scripture Of The Day: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” – John 15:12 (NIV)