“Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.”
As I was meditating on this chapter in Corinthians this morning I immediately got hit with how far I have to go before I am am truly walking in love. To truly love is to set yourself up for hurt, pain, disappointment and rejection. The accusing voice tells us that if we don’t protect ourselves, build walls around our hearts people will trample us to death. But to deny ourselves the gift of giving and receiving love is a trap to keep us in isolation and loneliness. Once in that space we are an open target to the lies deep within us that try and cripple us, defeat us and ultimately destroy us. I love this C.S. Lewis quote.
” To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
— C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)”
Vulnerability is the key word that jumps out at me in 1 Corinthians 13. As I go down the ‘bullet list’ of what love is, I realize that without vulnerability I simply take on a counterfeit form of love.
“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”
Do you recognize the counterfeit? It becomes a grand performance of the genuine, leaving us empty, afraid and alone. Constantly striving to earn love, giving a counterfeit love with a ‘hook’ to those around us leading to a sense of entitlement and self pity. Do you ever ask yourself “If they really KNEW me, they wouldn’t love me”? The great lie that leads us to our collection of masks.
There is healing and connection with others when we love from a place of authenticity. Allowing others into our weaknesses.
I have found that people are drawn to Christ in me when I am weak. Because in my weakness He is strong.