Monday, October 4, 2010

What is Love? (week two of the Good Fruit series)

Week One

As I typed the title of this post, I heard that "classic" song from the movie Night at the Roxbury in my head, complete with pumping bass and head-bopping side-to-side. What is love? Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more. Woh-e-oh oh-e-oh-oh oh-e-oh-oh... The funny thing is, I think that song about sums it up! Love doesn't hurt anyone.

These past couple weeks, I've been praying that God will teach me something new about love for this series. As always, He was faithful to answer. And as usual, not in the way I was hoping for. I had planned on Him showing me new passages in the Bible about love, giving me new understanding and revelation. But God knows how I really learn my lessons, so He gave a week full of practical application - one opportunity after another - in addition to many more that did not get posted - to be loving (in spite of my natural inclination to, witchy).

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. ~1 Corinthians 13:1-3
So I began putting it all together in my head:

I can:
- speak in tongues
- be a prophet
- have great faith
- give generously
- be a martyr
(1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

But if I:
- am not patient and kind
- am envious, boastful, or proud
- am rude and self-seeking
- am easily angered
- keep track of wrongs
- delight in evil
- don't rejoice in truth
- do not protect, trust, or hope
- do not persevere
- fail
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

Then I:
- am basically an annoying banging noise
- am nothing
- will gain nothing
(back to verses 1-3)

My track record is running at about 50-50. When the extraordinary (and obvious) challenges crop up I find that I am able to be loving to those around me.  But in the day-to-day ordinary stuff (for example, 3 out of 4 children being horrifically cranky and painfully slow at getting ready this morning), I am a clanging cymbal.

I have a lot to learn about love. And it makes me wonder, is it even possible to exhibit the other fruits of the Spirit without love? I mean, aren't they (the fruits) all really just the facets of love Paul describes in I Corinthians? Do you think the fruits are listed in this order on purpose?

Do you see why I've been having trouble coming up with a coherent post here?! My brain, it is a-whirring!

What is love? Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more...


  1. Great job of parsing out the call from the poetry...Isn't it clear when we let each phrase stand still in front of us...

    And then when I add the fact that whatever I did yesterday, it is now today and so today I need to pick up my cross and follow Him.

    Thank you for the morning fellowship, busy mother, ...young sister. I read here and there a bit and you would be a wonderful woman to have next door.

    your neighbor to the south...

  2. Isn't that why Christ said all the law and prophets hang on loving God and loving others? Thanks for the reminder friend!

  3. Love how you broke that down. I used to think 1 Cor 13 meant love FEELS patient, FEELS kind. I thought "I love my kids but I'm not feeling patient. What is wrong with me." I figured out, DESPITE how I feel, love ACTS patient, ACTS kind. It's a conscious effort on my part to show love no matter what feelings are stirring around in my sinful flesh. Can't wait to read more.


I am so glad you stopped by! My hope is that we can engage in a conversation together. I love to reply to your comments, but I need your help to make that happen.

If you have a blogger profile, would you consider editing your profile to "show my email address?" Then, when I receive your comment in my email inbox, I can reply directly to you.

Alternately, you can check the box "email follow up comments to..." so that I can reply to you right here. (You will also receive other readers' comments using this method.)

I'm excited to get to know you better!