Now don't get me wrong, I know what love is... but I don't KNOW what love is (that's how we are going to roll with this one). Because I know that God loves me, but in reality I cannot grasp how much He really, really loves me. And I know that I love other people, but I am convinced that I don't do it well... if at all sometimes.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that -
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
Sidenote: I heard a cool little trick is to replace "love" with your name... Carrie is patient and kind... etc. It's a very convicting tester...
So as I was talking to Frank today, we were talking about love, and he basically called. me. out. :)
He was like, "Carrie... now I don't want you to get mad here when I say this... but I think you are forgetting the biblical definition of "love" in this situation." He referred me back to this passage, and immediately, God was like, "Yes! You must know this Carrie Allen!" I started going through every single person who is in my life, and I started to evaluate how I am loving them. I had already been thinking about this quite a bit, because I was feeling a little guilty recently about how I didn't love people like I should have been. I couldn't understand why things could go so wrong when I "loved" them. But then I realized that my love for all these people in my life (and trust me, there is a list), wasn't even love at all! I mean, maybe it was love in a worldly definition, but it wasn't love according to God.
I started to realize that I hadn't been patient or kind. And that I was sooo arrogant and rude. I always insisted on my own way, and I was completely irritable and resentful.
Lately I have had this steady flow of people in my life who have expressed their concerns for being "in love" with a spouse (this definitely included me). There are many of us out there who are SO scared of getting hurt by "love", but then it came to me - if it's really the "love" that God speaks of, then there is nothing to fear. It won't hurt. Nothing will be painful about it.
I think that the biggest worldly lie about love is the thinking that someone owes you something in return for whatever you do for them. I mean, yes, it would be nice for people to reciprocate with something to show that they love you, but we can't forget that it is not required. God loves the WHOLE world. He loves everyone. Some people will never, ever love Him back, but He still loves those people just the same. We need to love in the same way.
I have missed the ball here. God's greatest commandments to us are to love Him, and to love others, and I haven't been doing that very well. I am just really stoked on this for my own spiritual growth. I am going to commit myself to really mediating on 1 Corinthians 13 A LOT in the next few weeks. I will of course encourage you to do the same. I'm hoping to have more of a revelation on why love is greater than hope and faith. Logically/theologically, I know why. But I want to feel it in the depths of my soul like I feel this.