Wednesday, June 23, 2010

~ "Love means always having to say and mean 'I'm sorry'..."

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.... (1 Cor 13:4-8)

One of the "better known" verses in the bible - often read at Weddings! We learn early in our walk with Christ that God is Love. In my church growing up, across the top of the altar where the big cross hung, was an inscription "God is Love".

When I chose this verse as one of the readings at my own wedding, I was not as familiar with the Bible and the scriptures as I am today (and I still have a very long way to go). I thought the words were written so beautifully and told my husband and I how to live our lives together. I also thought that if we had "love" we'd be alright and get through anything that life threw at us. In the end, we were both guilty of not following the standard of "love" we pledged our lives to. We failed.

What I've come to realize in the time since the divorce is that the love didn't fail - the love is still as strong as ever...God is love! If you replace the word "love" with "God" it takes on a whole new meaning...God is patient, God is kind...we are not capable of the unconditional love that is God! We say we are, but deep in our heart of hearts, there is always a bit of doubt, always a bit of jealousy, always a bit of envy. My ex-husband and I failed each other. We chose to walk down separate roads alone (and I do mean alone). What ever reasons either of us chose to present as those responsible for the dissolution of our marriage, the reason was only a symptom of the real problem. Our marriage ended because we did not put God first in everything - because we chose to be envious and prideful and did not protect and trust each other and we did not have hope. The words "I'm sorry" became just words ~ there was no genuine emotion attached to them.

Like the thief who isn't the least bit sorry he's stolen, only sorry he was caught, we often get caught up in "if I say I'm sorry, all is forgiven". Saying the words out loud without the emotion of remorse attached to them is like putting clean clothes on a dirty body - it only covers the dirt for a little while. In order for all to be "right" we must first go back to the basics - cleaning ourselves before we dress. In the same manner, in order to truly be "sorry" we must first know what it is we are apologizing for.

Today I try not to hurt people with my words and my actions, but sometimes I do (more often still than I'd like). That "Jersey Attitude" of not entirely thinking through the thought before I open my mouth and let it come out, tends to hurt others sometimes. It's gotten better but it's not quite under control. It may never be, but I'm trying!

Love the things around you that are gifts from God. None of us knows the exact hour of our death but one - and he's not telling. We all imagine we will have that time on our death bed to make our amends to family, friends and most importantly, to God our Father. Today I don't chose to play Russian Roulette in the hopes that the bullet will be the last to come out of the chamber. Make your peace with God now! Say "I love you" every day to those around you. Let hope be your guide and Christ into your heart and you can't possibly lose! Don't tell the world you're a Christian - show the world! Show yourself! You have been called into service and the benefits are out of this world ~ eternal life with Jesus is worth the narrow road we travel. Walk it proudly!

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