1 Corinthians 13:4-12 New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Christmas is soon upon us and whilst we celebrate the birth of Jesus it is so often a wonderful opportunity for loved ones to come together. We see family or friends we may not have seen all year and as the song goes it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
But sometimes it isn’t.
Sometimes seeing our ‘loved one’ can touch nerves, spending time with them can open old wounds.
And because they are loved ones it hurts more.
Those closest to our hearts have a greater opportunity to love us but also to wound us.
This famous scripture reminds us how to love- as we often need to be reminded. Love, a wonderful thing, is also a great task and if we are to love in the way that the Lord wants us to – and has enabled us to – we need to take his guidelines seriously. If we prepare to love first then perhaps we can not only guard our hearts during this season but also share Gods love with others.
In long standing relationships we often can keep a record in our minds – and usually it’s a record of wrongs – especially when we are hurting – we don’t mean to, but we do. We retreat in to well what about when she or he did this to me, I remember when they….but these lists get us nowhere, empower us for a second but do nothing to live in peace and love as the Lord wants us to.
This Christmas let’s do something different. Let’s keep a record of rights to overcome our record of wrongs. Let’s go out of our way to remember all the wonderful things our loved are, focus on their good qualities, remember who they are and have been to us and lets focus on these things and celebrate those things.
And on top of our record of rights, we can reflect on what God is doing in us at such times. Iron does sharpen iron and as much as we don’t like it, we grow during trials. The Bible says count it all joy when trials come. And remember love always perseveres….and while it’s not always easy, with God, nothing is impossible.
Don’t let this Christmas pass by without allowing God’s love to infiltrate your family, your house, your Christmas. Let’s not only tell people about Jesus but show people how wide and deep His love is, through us. And as the New Year begins, arm yourself with love this year. Ask God to help us to see through His eyes and keep a soft heart. And remember God wastes nothing in our lives and uses all things for good.
James 1.2, Ephesians 3:18, Romans 12:21, Matthew 19.26, Romans 8.28
18 Dec 2019