grading

Over the weekend I heard a wonderful message by Bob Goff about how we live our lives. He spoke on what we, as believers, should be known for, the legacy we are leaving in our wake.

At one point he challenged his listeners with this, “If you want a report card on your faith, see how you are loving the people you disagree with the most.”

Ugh.

I have been wrestling with some “hard-to-love” people in my heart lately. Some days I am as angry as ever, other days, I am sad at their choices. Some days, just disgusted. I am feeling unloving in my heart, even if they don’t know, God does.

There is a story of an Amish man who was approached by a stranger, “Are you a Christian?” The Amish man stopped his work and thought. He took a pencil and piece of paper from his pocket and wrote down a few things. Handing it to the stranger, he said, “Here are some people to ask. They will let you know.”

In other words, my words don’t matter. My actions do. If I am not loving others — difficult people, broken people, lost people, then I have blown it fully.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 drives this home. 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.

The Message puts it this way, If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

I’m bankrupt without love.

If it were a grade, it would be a big, fat F.

O Best Beloved, how is your heart? What grade would you receive for the way you treated the people around you today? Yesterday?

How about tomorrow?

Let us pray for God to grow love in our hearts for those who are difficult. You never know. Someone may be praying to grow love in their hearts for you.

 

About gretchenr17

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Writer, farmer, fellow sojourner... at every turn I learn a bit more about God's wild mercies.
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