Monday, February 9, 2009

Check the Checklist

February 10, 2009

Love needs to be based on character, if you know and love God you see He has a lot of character we are in love with. The best thing we can do for our spouse is to grow in character as listed in 1 Cor 13. It’s a love of choice. We choose to love God, He chooses to love us. Love of choice is the most powerful love, God calls that agape love, it’s a love that lasts, we should never settle for anything else between us and God and others. It’s a love that grows. Keep fervent in your love, allow it to stretch and strain as you watch it grow. Wayne Corderio

Years ago as a young tike involved in the youth group I remember well a lesson our preacher taught us on love. He sat us down as a group and had each of us insert our name wherever the word, “Love” was located in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. The point he was trying to make was to show us since God has called us to be love, to act in it and to grow in it, this chapter in His book was a good place to find the measuring stick need to size ourselves to where we needed to be.

Using the phrases from the New King James version of this chapter I revisited my checklist of long ago:

Karen suffers long
Karen is kind
Karen does not envy
Karen does not parade herself
Karen is not puffed up
Karen does not behave rudely
Karen does not seek her own
Karen is not provoked
Karen thinks no evil
Karen does not rejoice in iniquity
Karen rejoices in the truth
Karen bears all things
Karen believes all things
Karen hopes all things
Karen endures all things
Karen never fails

Opps, it sure doesn’t take long to see the areas where strength is found and weakness is evident. Perfect score or not the whole point is the fact that true love, God’s kind of love is a choice. We choose to love, we choose to grow in it, to act in it, to perfect where we are weak, and use correctly our areas of strength.

It doesn’t matter what we accomplish in life, without the ingredient of love we are what He calls a sounding brass, a clanging cymbal, a nothing that profits nothing. Fancy that, we can actually have the kind of faith that removes mountains but without love it means nothing. Without Christ they mean nothing either because it’s through Christ that these somewhat impossible characteristics of love become achievable.

There’s no doubt about it our love is going to be tested. It’s going to go through periods of stretching and straining not to see how far it can go before snapping but to stimulate its growth. Too often the minute we feel the process begin we give in and call it quits. We behave like a balloon that can only stretch so far. Problem is we are the ones that measure what “too far” is.

We get caught between worrying about being a doormat, not getting enough love back to match what we put out or we start to love for all the wrong reasons and expectations and so much more. Too easily we fall into Satan’s trap of thinking we are failures at love by looking at past experiences. Thinking of a co-worker I had once, her family told her because she was divorced twice that she was no longer permitted to pick her next husband. They were going to do it for her because her “picker” was broken according to them. Was she a failure at love? No, she has a lot of love left in her and because of her experiences she has seen growth in that love in areas she never would have dreamed.

Now abide faith, hope and love these three, but the greatest of these is…….that’s right….LOVE. It’s God’s kind of love that we need to be pursuing, our picker’s may be broken but our love doesn’t have to be. Check the checklist to see where you stand and allow God to fill in the gaps in between and all around. We aren’t the ones who are the “super” woman or man in these characteristics, its God’s love working through us through our intentional, fervent, hot, glowing, zealous, intense love for others, for Goid, and for ourselves. It is a choice, a good choice with benefits beyond measure. AMEN!

Copyright 2009 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing


writingcanvas said...

Thank you so much for hosting & sharing this week. I loved how you used the verses with your name - making it so personal.

I won't be participating this week. I've too much going and for us, today, is our tax day - we have to take all our stuff to our tax accountant and I am starting a new Bible study today. But, I will be back to read more. THANK YOU!

Denise said...

Such a great post sweetie.

Esthermay said...

Good quote. Much to meditate upon and contemplate in our own lives. That exercise is so telling of our understanding and practice of true biblical love.
And I also grab onto the part about not getting enough love back to match what we put out. . . Oh! To think of Christ expressing Love this way shames me! I have so much to attain.
Wonderful post!
YES! Happy Valentine's Day.

MiPa said...

This quote has lots of food for thought. Thank you for hosting this week and for this lovely post. Bless you!

Laurie Ann said...

Thanks so much for hosting this and providing such a wonderful quote! Good stuff here! Great post!


Great post! Thanks for hosting.


Chelsey said...

Great quote today Karen. I enjoyed participating in this one!

Ava Semerau said...

What a great exercise - putting ourselves into the verses makes it all so clear, doesn't it?

I am especially struck by the following: Fancy that, we can actually have the kind of faith that removes mountains but without love it means nothing.

It's a reminder we all need some time. It's not the faith, it's the love,

Thanks for the reminder,


Bonnie W said...

Karen, I was so disappointed that I was away the day you hosted, but babies come when they will! My Daughter-in-law was sosick after the baby came, she needed an extra hand. So it was Grandma to the rescue!

Bless you - you did a great job hosting and the quote was a good one too.