love…what you believe, say or do are meaningless without it

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1 Corinthians 13:1-3

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere.

So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

when i was in high school, the characters above were popular. i just dated myself, i know. these little guys were everywhere as we, in the ’70s, attempted to define what love is.

i’ve said before that we all are on a search for value, acceptance, belonging and love as we journey through life. these core elements cause our hearts to long for more, better, greater satisfaction than we seem to be living at the moment.

this search also can leave us disappointed, lonely and hurting so deeply that our heart despairs at times.

currently, i have people in my circle of influence who are battling deep depression, possible divorces, broken lives and emotional pain because they are missing these key components in their lives in one way or another.

it breaks my heart. as i’ve told you before, i am a “fixer”. i am passionate about emotional wholeness because i can relate to this kind of pain. i have experienced it many times in my own search for significance. i have made life changing decisions that were painful as i attempted to answer this question, “what is love?” therefore, out of my compassionate heart, i long to help others find hope that the pain will cease and that true joy and happiness can be found.

this world is a mess in a lot of ways. i read, hear and even come across some really hateful people. most of us want to run a million miles in the other direction when we come face to face with people like this. however, it’s getting harder and harder to do that because everywhere we go…we come face to face with people who rub us the wrong way, or who are not very easy to deal with. other than living like hermits, alone and distanced, we are going to have several of these types of people continually in our lives. in fact, listening to the news can make one fearful of what the world has to offer and what we can look forward to.

we long for love but find that when people lash out at us…we want to lash out right back.

this only leaves us feeling empty even if we feel it’s justified because the heart of man was not made for conflict, hatred and causing pain. it was designed to love.

so, what can you do?

actually, we can make a significant difference but it requires work, selflessness, and real, true, genuine L-O-V-E.

wisdom says that love never fails. did you just roll your eyes at me and think, “yeah, right!” good! then it is not a coincidence that you are reading my post today.

have you thought:
1. this “love” stuff doesn’t work!
2. i have tried and the other person just doesn’t get it?
3. it never lasts?
4. i always get hurt, taken advantage of and disappointed?
5. i’m sick of this! i’m not putting up with this anymore!

i think that we all have been there at one point or another.

so, what’s the definition of insanity? doing things the same way and hoping for different results?

this week, i want to explore this topic. i warn you, love is not for the faint hearted. it’s not all roses, wine, candle light and chocolates. sometimes, it’s down in the trenches, in the mud, death-defying action. a great example is the men and women who leave home, family, and comfort to fight for our freedoms while we sit at home and criticize them for their battle. they do it anyway because they understand the value and rewards of freedom (even when,”we” the comfortable, abuse those freedoms with our poor attitudes about how they are won). love is no different. the rewards of “mud on your face”, “heart wrenching”, “fight with all that is in you” love are just as worthwhile. however, it probably looks a lot different than what you have been doing. which is good news because if what you are doing isn’t working for you….then there is HOPE!

look at my quote at the beginning of the post. let’s start there.

there are many noble things we do in the name of love;however, it is very easy to see right through actions that are not motivated by genuine love. Isn’t?

we’ve all been “smooth talked” in order for someone to manipulate us. eloquent words and reasoning may produce an action…but people see right through it and wise up before very long and your efforts are short lived.

faith is a foundation we all need. we have to understand what and why we believe something that governs our lives. faith alone, in God, ourselves, money, status, chocolate, or teddy bears (look we can put our faith in some unusual places expecting it to bring us happiness) is not enough. you have heard the quote that your actions are speaking louder than what you say you believe. it’s true. if you are sharing your faith and people are running a country mile…(here’s some tough love), your actions are speaking louder than your preaching. here’s a clue: if it’s real, and it works, people want it…if it’s not, they are telling you, “i see holes in what you are saying compared to what you are living.”

benevolence, self-sacrifice and doing selfless acts are commendable. again, they are not a replace for really loving someone…that is where the real, effective work is.

the bottom line is that…

no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

…and you are,too.

you and i can change what is not working. we can see that love never fails even when it is difficult. we just need to understand what “love is” and what it is not.

would you like to explore this with me? if you know others who might benefit from this topic, please share this post and ask them to join us on this exploration this week. you’ll be glad you did.

before I go, I have a simple test. walk past someone today, give them a big smile and a cheerful, “i hope you have the most fantastic day”…season it with as much genuine love as you an muster in your heart and see if they respond even a little…i think they will. you will see that loving kindness CAN change the world.

i look forward to our time together this week, please join me again!
D

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