A while back, our pastor preached a sermon entitled “What love is…and what love ain’t.” I got tickled. Oh, how I love that country boy! (He’s also my husband.)
He directed us to I Corinthians 13. I’ve read that passage so many times I could probably say it from memory. I realize now that I’ve just glossed over its meaning. The older I get the more it speaks to me very, very clearly.
He started the chapter. That first verse is a kicker: If I speak in the languages of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only “a whole lot of noise” (my translation on that last part). I’ve known people like that! I thought to myself and continued to nod my head in agreement. Preach it, preacher!
Then he went down the checklist:
He went on through the chapter. When he hit the last part…it hit ME!
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, thought like a child…and acted like a child. But when I became an adult, I put away those childish ways.” Let me say it again: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, thought like a child, and acted like a child. But when I grew up…I put away those childish ways…and started ACTING LIKE AN ADULT!” I’ve read that sooo many times before, but THIS time it clicked.
At the end of the love chapter, there are a couple of lines about growing up and loving like an adult. It’s been there all the time!
When we are followers of Christ, we are commanded- not encouraged - to love people every day. We are in relationships, are married, have families and are in the work force. We go to the grocery store, Wal-Mart and a million other places. We see people everywhere we go. We can’t afford - don’t have the option - of loving like PRESCHOOLERS!
So … that means we WILL be kind. We WILL be patient. We WILL NOT be rude. We WILL NOT be self-seeking. We WILL NOT be easily angered, and we WILL NOT keep a record of wrongs. We are going to put on our big girl panties or our Superman underoos and ACT like and LOVE like adults - even if we haven’t had our naps!
God’s Word is good medicine. It is “alive and active…it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart,” Hebrews 4:12. That’s the gospel truth!
Dawn Reed is a newspaper columnist and pastor's wife in Prestonsburg. Reach her at email@example.com