"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things"1 Cor 13:4-7
These are beautiful words, probably my favorite set of verses. But in my daily life, these words often bring me to despair. Living in community is hard. Doing life with other broken people is not easy. Bitterness creeps in. Friendships ebb and flow. Sometimes, people just get on your nerves, or disappoint you. Sometimes you ache for them. I see myself on both sides of all of these examples. I love the verses above because they root me back to the truth. I read them and think "I can't do this, no one can!" And I can't. The truth is, I need Jesus. If He is not where I am centering my identity, then I will surely put my identity in people or things that will always fail me, and I them. If I do not put Jesus first, what use will I be to my community? How can my heart be soft? How can I love others?
Discipleship isn't just the drawing of people to Jesus, it is the sticking around afterwards and growing together, even when it is hard. Even when we are unlovable, never giving up on each other, remembering the Perfect One who died for all of us, and the Great Love that He loved us with.
Today I pray that we remember The Perfect One, and the debt He paid. That we love each other with even a fraction of the love that he poured over us who would crush Him.