Every time I read 1 Corinthians 13, I'm struck by the beautiful simplicity of the words.
I'm always tempted to imagine that love, neatly organized, will just carry me along. And with every passing year, I'll be more patient, kind, and full of love.
But in my experience, love doesn't flow that way.
I've found that putting 1 Corinthians 13 into practice looks more like fighting the current. Messy. Disruptive. Inconvenient. I have to confront my own selfishness, and in every situation, that is pretty hard. (I need God's help to do it.)
It's not the easy way.
When it is late and your little brother needs help with his homework, it's easy to become impatient, but...
When you're in a hurry, it's easy to treat a stranger more like a machine than a human, but...
When you see your friend experiencing something that you desperately want, it's easy to be envious, but...
When you win or you're proven right in an argument, it's easy to thump your chest or say, "I told you so." But...
When others make a mistake, it's easy to act as if we've never made that mistake. But that's just pride. And...
It's easy to put myself first. It's easy to keep careful record of wrongs. In fact, the entire path God lays out for me in this chapter goes against my selfish instincts.
I know at some point in every relationship in my life, I will wonder if it is worth the trouble.
Time and time again, I have found the answer is yes. Because I've found no other option that is better.
Protection over neglect. Trust over cynicism. Hope over despair.
It won't be easy or pretty, but in my life, I've found that love is worth every inconvenience and risk it requires. I truly believe that it never fails.
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