I woke up this morning to you asking me to redefine love. Ouch! I know sometimes I think of love as a feeling and not actions. But, love is not feelings alone. Love is in action
You have shown me I am comfortable in giving my love away to those who are like me. It’s so easy to love those who look like me and think like me, but that is not what you have called me to do. You want me to reach out in love to those who are different. Love for you is not getting upset when someone one comes in and speaks in a different language I can’t understand and I roll my eyes because they again have failed to bring in an interpreter. You are teaching me to not listen with my ears, but to listen with my heart. You are teaching me to look past the barriers and see their circumstance. Love is figuring out what they need and treating them like I do others. Redefine love. You’re teaching me love goes beyond those speaking the same language I do.
Love is so easy when I get along with someone. It’s much harder when I disagree with people. It’s harder to love people who don’t like me for whatever reason. It might be because they see me as privileged or special. I don’t feel special. It’s harder to love those who see you as a threat or see me as their enemy. But Lord you have taught me to, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” in Matthew 5:44. I don’t always want to love my enemies. I often want you to respond in anger and lash out at them for me. But, no you have called me to love them. Redefine love. Love is: loving those who don’t like you and aren’t kind to you. My mom always said, “Kill them with kindness.” I have forgotten, Lord to do just that.
You loved all kinds of people when you walked this earth. I am sure you loved those who were smelly and unclean.Oh I remember you loved those who were untouchable, those who had leprosy. Lord, you are teaching me its okay to hug those who are unclean or smelly. They need to know your love as well as those who are clean, shaven and smell really good. Redefining love is learning to hug those who aren’t huggable in my eyes.
Love is not bringing up the past mistakes of others, but leaving behind and erasing those things that have caused us pain and hurts us. I often want to bring up the things that people have done to me in the past. I want them to remember how their words or actions hurt me, but then God I want you to forget those times I have hurt your or pained you. Redefining love is letting those things be erased not only from my mind, but my heart also. Love is moving from the past and living in the present. Forgetting circumstances and forgiving others that is love.
For you love is not about who wins, or who is first, but who serves others. When I play games I often want to win. I want to be first and best, but that’s not what you have called me to be. It’s not about winning the game, but about serving and putting others first. It’s about walking alongside someone and encouraging one another. It’s not about being first in line at a carry in, but letting others who are hungrier go first, it’s about placing others needs before my own. Love redefine is not about winning the game, but learning to serve others, to encourage them and to walk alongside them.
Love for me is often having people tell me what I a good job I did when I know in my heart it wasn’t me that did it, but you. When I do things I often ask you to do it through me. I ask for courage and strength to do it, but then I want to take the credit and look good. Love redefine is giving you the glory, honor and praise. Love redefine is letting others know it’s only through you I can accomplish those things you put me to doing. Love is standing in the background and letting others (you especially) receive the glory. Love is doing things that go unnoticed and learning it’s okay.
Loving for me loves family and friends, not my neighbor, not the person that lives in the next town, across the railroad track or across the world. Love for you is loving those who don’t know you yet. For me I love those who know and care about you; I don’t love those who I haven’t met. But redefining love is: loving those who I haven’t met yet and are going through tough times. I look at the migrants and all those fleeing countries and I move on thinking that’s not my problem. I don’t know these people; I don’t love these people. Redefining love is learning to love those from all walks of life and all stations in life and all neighborhoods not just my own little world. Love is praying for all peoples of all nations and in all neighborhoods.
Lord, you are dealing with me when it comes to loving others. I have been selfish with my love. I only speak to those on Sunday who speaks to me first, that’s not love. I turn away from those whom I have had conflict with; that’s not love. I don’t greet those I don’t know. That’s not love. Redefining love is what I am to be working on now in this stage of my life. Loving those who are different, who don’t always like me, who I haven’t met yet and those who are smelly or don’t always speak the same language. Dear Lord, help me as I redefine love and learn what love is all about. Help me to place others first, and to love as you love. Help me to love with a servant’s heart.
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you,
Praised for you or criticized for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service.
And now, O wonderful and holy God,
Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,
you are mine, and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it also be made in heaven. Amen.
John Wesley covenant prayer
Redefining love. It’s time I look at 1 Corinthians 13 once again. It’s time I look at redefining love. I heard you this morning, Lord. I will no longer be mine but yours. I will no longer define love by my standards, but live according to your definition of love. I know I will fail; I am human. I know you will take the eraser and wipe the board clean, let me do that for others as well. Let me learn to love others with the same love you have for me. The task will not be easy, it will be difficult, but then life for you here on earth was difficult and yet you lived it for us. Let me live my life for others and not myself. Let me love others; not just the ones I choose, but all peoples from all walks of life, and from all neighborhoods and not just mine own. Let my life reflect the love you have showered upon me and let me shower others with that same kind of love. Amen.
Read 1 Corinthians 13 from different versions. Read also from The Message. What is your definition of love?