Friday, July 8, 2011
ALWAYS and NEVER? - The Discipline of Love II
Love "...ALWAYS protects, ALWAYS trusts, ALWAYS hopes, ALWAYS perseveres." (1 Cor. 13:7)
ALWAYS is such an expansive and absolute expression, just as NEVER is absolute and conclusive.
So love always trusts, even when my loved one has cheated on me?
Always hopes, though I've seen no change in 25 years?!
Always protects, even though he/she has stabbed me in my back?
Always perseveres, though they've stolen from me, violated my body, killed my children?
Love always forgives even though he/she repeatedly violates my trust and takes advantage of my generousity?
Love NEVER fails?
Does the Word of God really mean ALWAYS and NEVER as we know it? I suppose that's why Jesus used a different expression in case we needed clarity, "Forgive seventy times seven." I guess that's why when dying on the cross, Jesus said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." I suppose that is why we are reminded in Ephesians 6 we are reminded that we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers and spiritual forces of darkness.
Love baffles my mind. So in this wishy-washy world we live in, with the pervasive pallor of a Hollywood depiction of love primarily based on emotion, I say:
"Love is making difficult choices regardless of how you feel, to honor God and act righteously, over and over and over and over again." God is love and if he lives in us we can do ALL things. We can do ALL things through Christ who gives us strength. We can love our enemies and those who despitefully use us. We can forgive those who've wronged us seventy times seven times.
Help us, Father, to love.