But the kind of love that God created and demonstrated is a costly one because it involves sacrifice and presence. It’s a love that operates more like a sign language than being spoken outright. ~Bob Goff, Love Does
I’ve been doing a lot of pondering lately about things like love and kindness and what it really means to really be there for others in a world that allows us to “like” and “follow” and “favorite” and “friend” (or “defriend”) people and things with absolutely no true commitment to the meaning behind any of those words. I watch as folks shift allegiance as easily as they shift their feet. I grow concerned that we have come to accept fickle as fashionable.
I’d give anything for it not to be that way. For me. And for you. I long for real “this is good and this is right” examples of faithfulness and friendship to share with my grandkids. So I pray. And I look for reminders of what love should be. I’m thankful that God, being the Creator and Author of love, is kind enough to share. He defines love because He is love. And His love is most beautifully revealed not in lofty words, but in the simplest of acts.
I can give everything away to the needy, get loud and proud about my beliefs, and even die for a cause. I can preach, teach, and live a life of good intentions. But everything is worthless if it’s not fueled by love. So, what does love look like?
Love never gives up, you know. It cares for others before it even thinks to care for itself. It doesn’t wait for a special occasion to show itself. It brightens the day of a little girl with a handmade bracelet just because it knows she’d like it.
Love doesn’t get all bent out of shape because it doesn’t get everything on its wish list. It realizes there’s more in the giving than in the getting. Love isn’t cocky – it doesn’t attract attention to itself. Even though it knows how to handle the ball, it lets rough-and-tumble boys win at soccer and basketball just to hear them cheer.
Love doesn’t force itself on others. It’s not pushy. It finds common ground, like a game of tetherball, to open the door to the smile on the face of the forgotten one.
Love isn’t selfish, it’s not bossy, it doesn’t try to one-up and it doesn’t act holier-than-thou. Love doesn’t pat itself on the back when someone else falls apart or say “I told you so.” Love dances when a life becomes truly alive. It’s not afraid to get messy, and is OK knowing it may never see the fruits of its labor. It’s willing to dig in and do what it necessary – knowing there will soon be food for families it may never meet.
Love hangs in there when all else fails. Love understands its place. Love knows Who created it. Love always finds the best, never pines, is fearless and tireless and endless. Love simply does. (based on 1 Corinthians 13)
Thank you, sweet ACF students, for being a reminder of what real, God-breathed love looks like as you quietly cared for others at Disciple Now. I’m praying for you – and for the rest of us – that Love will fuel our hearts. Because this world needs that love.