Love endures all things

“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” – Matthew 5:46-46

Imagine the following being said to your face or behind your back.

My true story…

“Are those people coming?”

“We want time with just you, surely they understand.”

“Can’t they stay at the house while we are out of town for five days. They will have food and a place to stay.”

“They can’t drive a standard shift? Where do they need to go anyway?”

“Will they be there?”

“Only the three of us should go to lunch. They can stay at the house.”

“Why did they come?”

“Can it just be us?”

“Are they a negative influence in your life?”

“Can’t you come meet me when they fall asleep?”

“Let’s go alone for coffee.”

“Can we get together?”

“Maybe they could stay somewhere else for while. I really need time with only you.”

My emotions were all over the place, hidden behind a (hopefully) gracious smile. We came with love, but we were not wanted. The Body of Christ felt shattered. The Bible says, the body of Christ “belongs to all the others.” We did not belong to them, but somehow Jesus still wanted us to  live in a way that “they belonged to us.” How could we love when we were not wanted? Was this a time to dust off our feet and leave if we were not welcome? What about ‘are they coming?’ shows love? Should we disappear? Are we worth anything? What’s our purpose?

All I knew to do was pray. Pray with all I had for the people who wanted me the least. “Let all that you do be done in love,” says 1 Corinthians 16:14. How do you love when you want to run away? Is love … disappearing? Is love … overlooking?

1 Corinthians 13 is thrown around as romantic and ‘feel good.’ Read that chapter again. Love is hard core. Love costs. What happens when the kind isn’t for you? What happens when patience is not extended? What happens when people are rude and insistent of their own way? What happens then!!?


A great big privilege and opportunity  to love.

Love keeps no record of wrongs.

Love is not irritable or resentful.

Love bears all things. Love endures all things.

Unexpectedly,  we were presented an enormous love test.  Would we pass or fail?

Jesus, help us. We are so incapable of love apart for you. Keep my mouth shut. Teach me the rhythm of grace. How can I be kind in this moment? Be my patience. I do not want to be rude or grouchy or critical. My heart feels offended, but remind me to overlook every offense and to put on love. Love covers over a multitude of sins. Today, tomorrow and next week,  make my life a love blanket. Even when no one wants the love, equip me to love anyway. Please help me rejoice in the truth and keep no record of wrongs. Somehow I need to forget all the comments above, to have no list, no memory of the hurt against me. Help me not demand my own way. Give me authentic Jesus love, the kind that never ends.

As I prayed, God showed me that if I was not wanted, give grace and get out of the way. Encourage the fellowship of others. Pray for the unity of the Body. Remember that I am hidden in Christ and I don’t have to be noticed, included or thought of. If somehow, people remember the love of Jesus through the way He helps me respond, then His glory grows.

So, by God’s work in me, and only from His strength, I got out of the way. God provided a fellowship of Christ followers that I did belong to and God cared for all my needs. He gave sweet fellowship, friends, shelter, food and transport. Everything I needed, and more, was lavished upon me from our Father’s great love.

No great moment happened with apologizes or “we want you” or inclusion. But, God’s love for us never wavered. Maybe His love was the great moment! He remained faithful and gave me eyes to see the good along the way.

Many of the people who made those comments never got to know me. They never wanted me or noticed me.
But, life is not about me. My choice to love cannot be contingent on how I am treated or the way people make me feel.

How people treat me does not make me “a nobody.” I am nothing if I do not love.

Love is costly. Love is painful. Love is forgiveness. Love is grace. Love is not about ourselves.

One of the ladies hugged me and said she loved me. I didn’t say “I love you” back. The words felt empty and cold. My heart rejected them. Had my heart kept a record of the wrongs? Was I rude? Resentful? Irritable? Maybe I failed the test.

Jesus, here I am again. Help me to die to myself today too. Give me your forgiveness and love. You forgive me moment to moment. You keep no record of my wrongs. You are kind. You are never irritable or rude. You bear all things. Your love never ends. Help me be like you. Keep me so hidden in You that You love through me. I cannot love apart from you. Dress me in love. Use my life to love people, especially the people who never love me back.

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
-Colossians 3:13-14

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