4 Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, 5 it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, 6 it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. 7 Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.
Every time I read this section of 1 Corinthians, I can’t help but think of wedding ceremonies, including my own. At first glance, this part of the scripture seems all about love and kindness. I think of the happiness that love brings, of weddings and hope. I can’t help but see a bride and groom sharing a tender moment, as the music floats them around the dance floor. But wait, I may need to adjust my lenses.
How is it that my glasses are always a bit rose-colored?
Sometimes love can seem like a utopian dream. In 1 Corinthians 13, we are reminded how good and steadfast love feels, until we remember that the act of loving can also be really hard. Loving is honest and takes work. With thirty-three years of marriage, I can safely say that it takes work to keep loving someone, and even, at times, to always remember to love ourselves.
Sometimes it’s a challenge to love when the hardness of life breaks one’s rose-colored view – and through this scripture, we see clearly what love isn’t. Love isn’t arrogant or boastful. We don’t seek advantage by love or voice our complaints through it.
Instead, we trust that loving isn’t meant to be harmful. Of course there are moments when loving means telling hard truths — when loving another means holding someone or ourselves accountable. And of course, there are days that loving means enduring incredible pain and hardship for the sake of another.
It is then that I think of love for the world, as seen through Jesus’ eyes.
Through Jesus, we are reminded of God’s unendingly patient love for us, even when we are most unloving. We are further reminded that showing patience in love means loving as Jesus loved. So I think I’ll put my rose-colored glasses back on — but mindfully keep Jesus’ ways in my thoughts, prayers and actions. Our love is patient and kind when lived by viewing the world through Jesus’ eyes.
By Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
Because of Jesus’ incredible example of love for the world, we are reminded of God’s unending patience for us. How does seeing the world through Jesus’ eyes change and challenge your viewpoint?
Perhaps you too have sometimes seen the world or life through rose-colored glasses, or perhaps not. Which best describes your current viewpoint of offering love in the world?
Prayer: Dear Jesus, you offered yourself in love to the world, even though you paid the price with your earthly life. Thank you for your love and sacrifice on our behalf. Through your example, we are reminded to see the world as you do and continue to patiently love all who we encounter. Help us to love as you have loved us. Amen.