Oh the LOVE
Love. We are a society that has lost this word. Not just its meaning, but the action that defines it. Satan, true to his nature, has taken this perfect thing and distorted it unrecognizably.
Love, the love that God created and intended and still provides is powerful. Love is so powerful that it covers a multitude of sins. In fact, it is the exact tool God used to fix the fall. He sent love wrapped in flesh.
I’m learning that I can’t rely on my own feelings for love. Feelings are far too fickle and fragile things to depend on for power or motivation, yet that’s what I do all the time. When I fail loved ones, which is often, I find myself thinking, “How do I fail them when I love them so much?” My love isn’t enough, my gentleness and patience run out, but God’s love is always enough.
I am not telling you that Love is a verb and we need a plan and we need to try harder. Most of the time, I can’t try harder! I am here to tell you I need Jesus. I’ve hit the end of me. Love is not something I can conjure up, it’s a person’s identity that I need to put on.
Faith in God’s love for us, relying on God’s love for us, and being empowered by abiding in God’s love for us is the only hope we have of loving.
It doesn’t matter how hard we try we can’t be conformed from the outside. We have to be transformed from the inside. Romans 12:2 shows us that we are not to be “conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. We are under constant pressure to perform. That isn’t what God puts on us; it’s what we put on ourselves when we believe the world. We have to be transformed by renewal, not conformed by pressure. I have determined that I will stop treating myself like Jell-O. I was not created to be pressed into a mold. I was created to reflect my creator.
In my failure to love, I am still loved. Let that sink into your soul. God doesn’t expect perfection from us, He wants to work perfection in us.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
God knew when he inspired that famous description of love in 1 Corinthians to be penned that we could never attain it. We weren’t meant to. It was meant to get us to the end of ourselves. For me, that has worked. I can say that at this point in my life I can get to the end of myself pretty quickly. That is what has led me to figure love out. Because knowing that we could never love perfectly on our own, God still made it the greatest commandment. We are just missing the secret.
If you want to read more about how I am learning to be loved so that I can love, check out my book A Love That Conquers. When February rolls around and I can’t seem to get away from the word Love, it reminds me how much I need to read this book again. Being transformed isn’t a one-time deal. Renewal is a process.