My wife and I recently had a rather surreal experience when we went out for dinner at a quaint little restaurant in Dunedin, Florida. The hostess seated us at a table on their outdoor patio just off of the popular Pinellas Bike Trail. The view and atmosphere were amazing.
The restaurant was very popular, so they put us at a table that was tightly positioned between two other tables. Since it was such a close fit, we inadvertently picked up on the conversations at the tables on both sides of us.
The table just to our right had four elderly friends dining together. The one elderly man had recently lost his wife after over 40 years of marriage. He was sobbing as he told story after story to them about the many memories they had enjoyed together.
One story was about how he had pulled a book off of his bookshelf just a few days after she had passed away, and an old letter fell out of the book that he had written to her before they were married. In the letter he had told her he wanted to marry her and spend the rest of his life with her, and he told her he would take good care of her for the rest of her life.
It was gripping to hear him speak.
On the other side of us, however, was another couple who was involved in a spat the entire time. They were not married. In fact, the man was married to a different woman than the woman he was with at that restaurant.
She was extremely angry with him because he took a phone call from his wife during the meal. The mistress was upset because he chose to speak with his wife rather than to her.
Rarely have I been confronted with such a stark contrast in worldviews. One man seemed to understand true love. The other did not.
Allow me to share one of my favorite passages regarding love as it is described in the Scriptures:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love suffers long
and is kind;
love does not envy;
love does not parade itself,
is not puffed up;
does not behave rudely,
does not seek its own,
is not provoked,
thinks no evil;
does not rejoice in iniquity,
but rejoices in the truth;
bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never fails….
There seems to be a huge contrast between the love that God intends for us to demonstrate and the false love of this world. Here are a few of the differences:
|Love is an action.||Love is a feeling.|
|Love is about those around me.||Love is all about me.|
|Love is unconditional.||Love is based on what you’ve done for me lately.|
|Love is a commitment.||Love is a phase.|
|Love is about giving.||Love is about getting.|
|Love is about serving.||Love is about receiving.|
|Love is about physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy.||Love is about sex.|
|Love focuses on meeting the needs of those around me.||Love focuses on getting my own needs met.|
|Love works through conflict.||Love withers in conflict.|
|Love is forgiving.||Love is bitter.|
|Love moves forward.||Love gets stuck in the past.|
|Love is about transparency.||Love is about hiding and covering up.|
|Love is about trust.||Love is about suspicion|
|Love is about responsibility.||Love is about blame.|
|Love is about peace.||Love is about anxiety.|
Of course, this list could go on and on. But these are some of the key contrasts that come to mind. I feel bad when I see people who settle for worldly love. They don’t know what they are missing.
If you struggle to love in a godly way, I would encourage you to saturate your mind with the Scriptures. Let His truths guide you in your pursuit of authentic love. And commit to loving the way God would want you to love!
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