Friday, October 21, 2016

Loving the Unlovely -- Test or Torture?

This Peanuts cartoon shows Lucy speaking to Linus, "I am human and I need to be loved just like everybody else does." God bless Lucy. She reminds me of some folks, even my own self, at times. If you'll remember dear Lucy's personality -- she was characterized as very loud-mouthed, violent, aggressive, temperamental, sometimes dumb. She often mocks Snoopy and his owner, Charlie Brown, and even her younger brother Linus. She can be quite antagonistic, often playing the villain role in a number of stories. She is also characterized as vain, as she believes she is beautiful and thinks she is perfect (though she once admitted complaining is the only thing she can do well). But, in response to Lucy in this photo, I reply with, "Yes, Lucy, you're right. We all need to love and be loved."

The Apostle Paul put it this way in 1 Corinthians 13, ”"Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not love, I am a sounding brass and tinkling cymbal."

I've been mulling over this post for weeks now. I've subtlely posted about loving the unlovely -- not that it's an easy thing to do, but because it's the right thing to do. I can't speak to those who just don't care or those who are bent on being name callers and making really snide and ugly remarks about others, but I am referring to my brothers and sisters in Christ who have found it a popular thing to do -- to speak some of the unkindest words during this election process. It's one thing to disagree, but it's a whole other thing, to justify cold-heartedness. I am disheartened that our loved has been reduced to sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. This post today isn't to those on the other side of love -- it's for those of us on God's side -- those of us who are supposed to be taking the higher road, the road less traveled, Have we heard 1 Corinthians 13 so often that we no longer think about what those words mean?

I get it. We are disappointed in our country's leaders. The candidates in this election are certainly not the caliber of leaders that we would hope to rpresent us in the highest office of our land. It's so easy to get caught up in the hype and anger and sheer craziness during this election time. "We've NEVER seen anything like it" -- that's what news commentators say, and that's what we citizens say. But as off-the-wall crazy as it all is.....we must remind ourselves as many times as necessary to go back to WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?). He's our "rule of measure". He was despised and rejected and even though He was a perfect and innocent man, was tortured and killed. He only loved. He taught us how to love. He loved even the unloveliest and even died to save them. He forgave "Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do."

Maybe it's time that, rather than focusing on the weaknesses of our candidates, to give ourselves the LOVE TEST and see if we'll pass with flying colors. Let's ask God to help us be LOVERS with these "love" qualities: After reading these words, let's read them again and replace the word "love" with our name. "Love is patient -- Donna is patient. Love is kind -- Donna is kind. Dear God, where I fall short, renew my heart and soul to be a LOVER like YOU!

1) Love is patient.
2) Love is kind.
3) Love is not jealous.
4) Love does not brag.
5) Love is not arrogant.
6) Love does not act unbecomingly.
7) Love does not seek its own.
8) Love is not provoked.
9) Love does not take into account a wrong suffered.
10) Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness.
11) Love rejoices with the truth.
12) Love bears all things.
13) Love believes all things.
14) Love hopes all things.
15) Love endures all things.

God doesn't ask us to do anything without His grace to do it. Let's be LOVERS not haters!