Love Means

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” That phrase was really big when I was in high school, as a way to say that the people who love you will forgive you and understand you in your flaws, so you won’t need to apologize for falling short of perfection, which is a nice thought, but it’s not actually true.

I once read from a pastor that if you love someone, put their name in where love is in 1 Corinthians 13 and see if their character traits line up so that you know whether or not you should date them. Again, that’s kind of a nice idea in theory, except for the scathing endictment it is on my character.

Take a look:

Ashley is patient and kind; she does not envy or boast; she is not arrogant or rude. Ashley does not insist on her own way; she is not irritable or resentful; she does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Ashley bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Those who know me in any capacity see that I fall short on that, as much as I’d like to rise to the occasion. These are worthwhile things to aspire to and I hope God continues to conform me to His image and transform my heart.

That said, I want to call out the consumeristic mindset we can have toward one another. Love in this context can also mean friend and family love. We often say, “I love you.” With a specific set of circumstances in mind. Times are good when we say it. We may say it in the most emotional high of highs, but what about the bad times?

Recently, I’ve experienced a series of negative situations that have left me in a difficult place emotionally. Typically, this is where I get hard to love. Because I’m not that perfect Christian girl with the cookie cutter life and no concept of pain. Yet, God in his mercy has graciously giftted me with very special, supportive, and loving people. They are teaching me how to love when it’s difficult by how they love me right now. I’ve come to constantly chase my thoughts. I ask myself, “Is this patient or kind? Am I being self seeking or self sacrificing? Does this fall into a Biblical picture of love?”

So, as we enter into 2017 and celebrate life, I want us to focus on the 24 day challenge. Let’s take hold of a Biblical definition of love and how Christ loves us in the ugly. I’m so excited to embark on this journey with you.

With love,

your sister in Christ

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