The Greatest Gift is Love
Am I the only one who is saddened by the discovery that the community of faith suffers from disunity because we don’t know how to accept a kind criticism from a brother or a sister.
Now in the corporate corridors the tough directors will hire and fire at will, and can’t afford to be sensitive to or be distracted by the simpleton or the ingrate. But the rest of us must tolerate these two in our office cubicles, our churches, our homes, our streets. And let’s not overlook our own less virtuous selves! For the wisest and loveliest of us can reflect on those occasions when we have fallen to the level of the simpleton and the ingrate; two qualities of the Biblical fool.
But I firmly believe that the Lord has called some of us on to be spiritual, physical, social and emotional Samaritans on the Jericho road of our times. A voice within cries out “There, but for the grace of God, goes I!”
So you make yourself vulnerable. You try your best to encourage, to pray, to smile and love and lift. And you must help but find yourself losing patience.
The Apostle Paul really got it right when he penned the first epistle to the Corinthians and somewhere in the middle launched into that majestic flight of words on the subject of love, or as the older English would say, charity.
For the New Year, for life, and forever may the Lord grant me a prayerful and patient heart that I may reflect the Master as the apostle exhorts:
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7.
It is extremely painful to try to help people only to have your effort thrown back in your face as a thing of evil. By small minded persons who would prefer to remain on the lowlands of underachievement or pessimism. Yet I feel a divine and universal imperative to keep reaching out to humanity, especially when no one else will. For others have reached out to me in the past. Christ has taken the entire journey to Calvary for you and for me. And now he calls us to lift friends and family to a view of a higher plane. But people resist change. Sometimes in the rudest ways.
By nature I am not a very patient person so I often cast my
mind on this text, again and again: “Love
suffers long and is kind.”