FLASHBACK FAVORITE! Here is one of our favorite posts from the past. Enjoy! (This post was originally published on 3/01/16).
Once I get moving, I like to keep moving. I recognize this about myself every time I’m shopping at Costco and I have to pass the Vitamix-er man. Yes, I desperately want your smoothie. No, I don’t want to listen. DON’T MAKE ME STOP Vitamix-er man. Don’t you see I have 2 toddlers and a baby in this cart? Costco is not my hobby. And while I’m on the subject, little sample giver lady, I don’t understand why you can’t cut a Kellogg’s cereal bar in half and talk at the same time. There are 18 adults in “line” here and unless I physically box someone out I’m never gonna get to try blueberry-kale-quinoa-chia whatever. And most of my kids will cry.
One of my absolute favorite things is to go on walks with my husband. Early in our marriage we were in seminary full time and we would get out and walk or jog to exercise and take a break from the books. My husband is a verbal processor and a demonstrative communicator. He sometimes likes to briefly stop moving or pause as he talks. There isn’t a person in the world I would rather have by my side to process life. I’m all about conversation and enjoying a beautiful day, but don’t you dare expect me to stop to tell me something you could have said while we were walking. As you might have guessed, I have learned, with the help of my husband, that in order to love him well, I need to be willing to put his heart over my own agenda.
Since the beginning of this year, I have been contemplating a particular question: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Which one of these aspects am I weakest in right now?
I have grown in my understanding of my own spiritual gifts over the years, and one of mine is faith. It’s not hard for me to trust God. Especially with the big things, ironically. God has been incredibly faithful, and I find the longer I live, the easier it is in a sense to rely on Him coming through. Combine this with my non-reactive personality and the bigger the crisis is, the calmer I often become.
But HELLO 1 Corinthians 13:2. “and if I have a faith that can move mountains but have not LOVE, I am nothing.”
This verse speaks profoundly to me. Faith is important, but not without love. I am NOTHING without love. It says it right there in black and white.
I have noticed in myself as I “mature” in my relationship with Jesus that it is becoming harder, not easier, to let myself be interrupted. Is anyone relating to this? To sacrifice time and give of myself is not getting more convenient. True, different seasons of life demand different things of us in terms of margin. But really, is love not what this whole thing is about? Without LOVE I am nothing.
The good news? We can choose to love. Getting back on course is as quick and simple as literally picking up the phone or walking across the street to look someone in the eye. Slowing down to say, “How are you? Really?” We don’t have to work up the feelings to love. In fact we aren’t required to have feelings at all. Feelings don’t make love real. Action makes love real. I am living in this.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. . . Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:16,18)
Let’s slow down when we can and love well!