Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Defining Character: Love One Another

One of the most quoted passages from the Bible during wedding ceremonies is this passage from I Corinthians:

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…

When I heard this passage being read I used to think “Oh that is what it will feel like when I meet the one!” or “This is how you are supposed to treat each other in marriage.”

But this passage is really meant for how we are supposed to treat everyone. I would be happy if just one person could embody all those qualities and treat me like that always, let alone everyone! Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone was always patient, kind, humble, calm, forgiving, honest, trusting, hopeful, and would never give up on you?

I can’t control everyone else’s actions, but I can try to control my own. I do not always treat everyone I meet the way I would want to be treated. Usually it is more like a mirror. I treat them how I perceive them to be treating me. If someone is rude and pushing my buttons it is hard not to be rude and try pushing their buttons. If someone hurts me then I want to hurt them back.

But what if I turn that mirror around and instead reflect to them what is in my heart which is love? And if love is all of these things- patient, kind, humble, calm, forgiving, honest, trusting, hopeful, and persevering- then I should reflect that in the way I treat everyone, not just my significant other.

So I am going to try to stop being afraid of being hurt by other people. I am going to try to be patient and calm. I am going to try to always forgive and persevere. Maybe it will change the way people interact with me. Maybe when I am the one holding up that mirror in front of me, it will be reflected back in other people’s actions towards me. And that would make my little world a much happier place!


magda said...

This is a really great post. Thanks for the reminder that love isn't just for receiving--so often, it's all about giving. Giving love, living love, getting love ... yes, I think you've totally got it.

It's hard to remember this, especially when you're around not-that-nice people at work all day (as it seems we both are). But such a valiant pursuit!

Jane said...

Yes, this was definitely a great reminder. I think I am going to try and reread this entry often to keep it fresh in my mind. :-)