If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. -1 Corinthians 13: 1-7
These verses have been poking away at me for quite some time now.
It started Monday night, after a women’s bible study on the fruits of the spirits.
It popped into my mind (not by chance, mind you) that I really don’t love a lot of people. Not in a… romantic way, but in the way that I really don’t like a lot of people. In fact, I really don’t CARE for a lot of people. I am not the most compassionate or sympathetic person. I get annoyed by stupidity all the time. Regardless of how hard I try, I struggle deeply -with loving people the way that God has commanded us to. I do not love humans. I do not love mankind. I don’t.
The thought was planted, and over the past few days I have thought -hard, over this thought of love. Of compassion. Of caring.
Then today, I read an article on how in relationships -we go after the people who are most like us. Why? Because we are looking for someone like ourselves. We want people to be just like us, and when they aren’t -we chuck them to the curb with last weeks leftovers. When someone disagrees with us we gasp in horror -how could they! I for one, am guilty of trying so hard to stuff people into the boxes I feel they should be in.
Some people are amazing in this area -they are compassionate to a fault, they love without restriction. They see a need and fill it. Meanwhile, I am busy carefully calculating to see if said person fits into my box the way I think they should before I make my move…most times, losing the opportunity to love without condition.
I struggle to make them FIT into my life, I want them to be who I want them to be -instead of realizing: They aren’t. They never will be. Not everyone is like me, in fact, no one is like me! And how wonderful that is. But that doesn’t stop me. It doesn’t stop me from seeing people through my clouded, dirty perspective -day after day. I see them with my molded glasses on that say they must have and act this way -or else perhaps, they cannot be a friend of mine.
Good golly how selfish I have been.
Instead of seeing people this way -I need to see them for who they are, but bigger still -I need to see them how God has made them, how God sees them…not as I see them, not as I want them.
People will never fit into my mold or my view -and so I need to stop trying, desperately to make them fit! Instead, seeing them for who God has made them, who they are -opens the world to me in a completely different way. It gives them the freedom to be who they are, to have their strengths and weaknesses -it gives me the freedom to love them for who they are, as they are -instead of constantly trying to rank them, box them up and ship them away.
I need to free myself from my ridged views -and quit assuming that I am, in fact, the mold that everyone should live up to. I need to love people the way God loves them -and me. I need to see them how He sees them, not as I see them. Because then, and ONLY then…can I truly love them, as they are. The way He loves me. The way I am.