Last summer, a really good friend of mine suggested that we start attending church. I find it to be a very positive experience and now that my girls are attending as well, I feel like it’s really helping us improve as a family.
Yesterday, my friend & I were inspired by the sermon we heard. We learned about how Jesus was nearly thrown to his death in his hometown of Nazareth for telling the people something that they did not want to hear. However, eventually the people calmed and let him on his way. This was coupled with the most famous Bible verse on love, which I’ve mentioned on this blog before, but I’ll repost for those who are too lazy to go back and look for it:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
It seemed like an odd pairing, as we go from a malicious attack on someone’s character to the gentle promise of love, which I guess it why my friend & I found it so interesting, so much so that I decided to share it with y’all. We all think of Jesus as this gentle, loving creature, but sometimes he was rather harsh and succinct with his comments towards people. He didn’t mince words and told people exactly what they need to hear, even if they didn’t like it. However, once people had a chance to calm down and reflect on his words, they realized that he meant them in the most loving capacity. He used the modern parallel of relationships; sometimes we have to tell our partner something that they don’t want to hear and they lash out, because the natural reaction to harshness is to be harsh back. When someone calls us on our crap, our reaction is to deny and make up excuses. However, once the initial anger dies down, you’re left with the realization that they likely meant no harm, they were reaching out because despite your current interactions, they care for you and wanted to help you. But you just lashed out and lied and hurt them (I know I’ve done this more than I’d care to admit).
Hence why the Reverend brought up Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Because love doesn’t end. Love cannot fail, even when it seems hopeless, love is still there. Love is not an emotion that is turned off. You can pretend it’s gone, but it’s there, lingering in your mind and no matter how you try to bury it or push it away, it remains constant, in your mind and heart and nothing, not even harsh words or a proverbial kick in the face makes it go away. Sometimes what seems harsh is actually one’s desire to protect the person they love most in the world. But in the end, when cooler heads prevail, you’re left with the realization that the person who seemed harsh, arrogant or even stupid was likely the one person in the world who cared about your feelings the most. But love will never reject you, no matter how stupid you’ve been, which was the lesson our Reverend wanted to convey yesterday. His message was that sometimes we will say something to someone and they will get angry and walk away, ignore you and hurt you. But in the end, they will realize that you said it because you love them…and they will know that you were right and they will eventually tell you. But you have to show the true meaning of love; be patient and let them come to you on their own and when they do, do not dwell on past infractions. Forgive, put them behind you and focus on the fact that you love each other.