Going through Crazy Love for a second time now. Still so many thought and challenges. Too many to share. Some too personal to share on a blog. :)
But I have been really challenged to think about how I love, how I demonstrate that love. Jesus told us the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37-40:
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
So if that's the greatest commandment (and the second like it), then how to I love? My mom always challenges me to "love deeply." That's a really hard thing to do as an imperfect sinner and then loving other imperfect sinners.
Here is the challenge I have been mulling over in my head all week when I have been struggling to love:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails... And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13
Yes, it's the famous "love" chapter we all know. But the challenge that I got from Chan in his book is to take each phrase and substitute my name for the word "love." ("Kristen is patient, Kristen is kind...") And then do it for every phrase in the passage.
"By the end, don't you feel like a liar? If I am meant to represent what love is, then I often fail to love people well. Following Christ isn't something that can be done halfheartedly or on the side. It is not a label we can display when it is useful. It must be central to everything we do and are."
Loving God and loving people. I am grateful for God's infinite grace because I fail all the time!