In one word……EVERYTHING. The longer I live life as a follower of Jesus (I spent a long time doing just the opposite) the more I am convinced of the fact that this is the epitome of our existence on Earth. I suppose I should know this just by the fact that God is love but translating that to living life day to day is quite another matter.
Love is a choice we make from moment to moment. I think the “top button” analogy works well with love. When buttoning a shirt, if you get the top button right, all the rest fall right into place. If the top button is wrong you will never get the rest right until you go back and correct that one at the top. It’s been said “Love first, then do whatever you want”. This speaks volumes on the power that loving God, loving ourselves and loving others can have in our world if only we could all get that “top button” right.
Here’s a kind of checklist based on 1Cor 13 that helps me to keep on track:
Love is patient- do I keep my cool when others disagree with me?
Love is kind- Do I share time and concern with others? Do I try to be thoughtful of those around me at all times?
Love is not jealous- Do I feel threatened by others talents? Do I get upset when others are recognized or do I rejoice with them?
Love is not conceited- Do I focus attention on myself or try to look good at others expense?
Love is not proud- Do I know my limitations and ask for help when I need it? I struggle with this one.
Love is not ill mannered- Is my conversation always polite and edifying/uplifting to others? Do I put others down to make myself look good?
Love is not irritable- Am I touch or defensive? Am I easy to approach?
Love keeps no record of wrongs- Am I quick to forgive when someone truly hurts me. This is huge.
Love is not happy with evil- Do I delight when someone else slips up and fails? Do I ignore evil unless it touches my life?
Love is happy with the truth- Do I try to be open and real even when it shows my weaknesses? Am I willing to admit when I am wrong?
Love never gives up- Do I keep trying even when I am rejected? Do I always look for ways to love, care for and help others?
Let’s love the unloveable, just as Christ loved us.