4Love endures long and is patient and kind;
love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy,
is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride);
it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.
Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking;
it is not touchy or fretful or resentful;
it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes,
is ever ready to believe the best of every person,
its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances,
and it endures everything [without weakening].
8Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].
Do you love like that?
Have you ever been loved like that by another person?
Would you like to be?
If you are like me, your answer would be : No, No, and ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!
Well....the bad news is that I don't think there has ever been anyone who loved like that completely aside from Jesus. But, the good news is that HE Does love us just like that.
So, here's the thing. We are not to get our expectations for love met through other people because they are incapable at their best of loving like Jesus. We are to take our expectations to Him, allow Him to love us just like that and have our expectations met in Him. Then, we will be free to love others with abandon because we will not be looking to them to meet our needs. Psalm 62: 5 says "My soul wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is from Him."
You see what hangs us up 99% of the time in our relationships is that we are expecting something from the other person in return. Oh we say we don't. But if we are honest, we really do. And, when they fail to meet those expectations, we tend to withhold our love from them.
Maybe not altogether...but to a degree. And, over time, the more expectations that person fails to meet, our love for them begins to erode. We begin to keep a checklist and the less they measure up, the more we withhold.
Who is REALLY the focus of that relationship? Me, myself and I!! And that, my Friend, is the problem.
Jesus Himself said He came to serve. He is our role model. Can we do any less? The passage above is a description of how JESUS loves. Can we do any less?
This week I challenge you to give your expectations...whatever they may be...to the Lord. Take your husband, your wife, your children, your best friend, your pastor, etc. off the hook. Instead, look at how you can serve that person in your life this week, how you can live out I Corinthians 13 to them this week.
It won't be easy and I assure you that Satan will thwart you at every turn, but I have a feeling that IF you will take this challenge, you will discover your relationship with this person changing before the end of the week. I'd love to hear your results. (Use the comment button below).