6Puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, 7never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies.
Like Paul at the beginning of this chapter, I want to talk about love and show where verses 6 and 7 had not taken root:
“I was married for many years, year of total hell. He hit my children, kicked them, tried to rape them, strangled them. I ended up in hospital a couple of times because of his abuse.
He mistreated animals, hit them with pipes, strangled them. He’s a monster.
He was this “Christian”. He preached to everybody and walked around with the Bible under his arm. Sundays when we went to church he was always in the first row praising the Lord with his hands in the air, shouting: “Love you, Jesus!” Everybody had to hear, but he would start hitting me even before driving away from church.
Now, after five years, I can still see the scars on my face when I look in the mirror.”
One can never condone such abuse from a man. There is no love; therefore, there is no joy. No sign of protection. How can you believe in such a person and expect the best from him? And the worst of all is that people like these sit with us in church on Sundays.
This may be an extreme example of an extreme person. But we must ask ourselves whether we don’t fall into this trap sometimes. You see, love and choosing things that are not right don’t go together. When we do things that are wrong – and we do this so often – love gets off the bus. This guarantees actions without love. But when we do things within God’s will, love comes into play, which makes everybody happy.
We have to focus on other people with everything we have in us. We must ensure that we do not talk or act in a manner that makes others feel afraid or unsafe, because then you’ll never find love.
Love always looks for that goodness in others. Together with hope, love looks for the potential in others. Together with hope, love believes there is some good in everyone, even if they have messed up again. Love builds bridges where there has always been an abyss between people. Love breaks down boundaries and tries one more time.
Love never ends. Love keeps going. It gives another chance after the second chance. Love overwhelms people.
May God help us not to mess with love. May love always accompany us and may the seeds of love that we sow all over grow into enormous flowers of joy. May the little part of the world that I occupy be overrun with flowers of love. May it look different because God’s love has touched my hands and feet. Forever.
Do the people around you experience love?
Where do you fall short?
Does your love keep forever or does it have limits?
Lord, sometimes we can make such a mess. We mess up in what we say and what we do. Love can keep us from messing up. Drench us with your love, so that we can make a real impact in your Kingdom. Amen