I have talked in previous devotionals about my mom’s missional focus. Her “one true thing”, loving Bob, and how she interpreted that and morphed it into a commitment for creating a home base for him to return to after his adventures. As she birthed him four children, the mission expanded to the care and feeding of the arrows in his quiver.
In her last days, the one message she repeated over and over and over again to each of us was this, “I love you.” When all the rest was stripped away, what remained for my mother was this overwhelming love for us, her family.
LIFE LESSON #10: When everything is stripped away in all our lives, the only thing left is love.
If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have love, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete faith that I can move mountains but I don’t have love, I’m nothing. 3 If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever. 4 Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, 5 it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, 6 it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. 7 Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. As for prophecies, they will be brought to an end. As for tongues, they will stop. As for knowledge, it will be brought to an end. 9 We know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, what is partial will be brought to an end. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, reason like a child, think like a child. But now that I have become a man, I’ve put an end to childish things. 12 Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known. 13 Now faith, hope, and love remain—these three things—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 CEB
No matter the “true things” we commit to, it is essential we consider the role of “love” in our choosing. This is a much more complicated proposition than it sounds like. Love? Well of course, of course we consider how we love others in our decision-making process! Who doesn’t? Here’s the rub: what about when loving decisions compete for our attention? How do we decide what to DO then? For today, maybe it would be a good idea to ask ourselves: is it possible that I am not giving full consideration to love in my decisions? Am I being narcissistic in my relationships, focusing so much attention on loving what I want and need that I cannot see the wants and needs of others? Are there other love perspectives that I am missing? To be continued….