Saturday, January 28, 2017

Love - What Is It?

Rather than wallow in the discouragement I’ve been feeling from the posts I’ve been reading on social media, I have decided to go back to the missing ingredient of the posts:  Love.  

I’ve decided to read through the definition of Love.  This definition is found in 1 Corinthians in the 13th chapter.  I went to the Bible Hub website and looked at several English versions to help me to get a richer understanding of what Love is.  

–Just a note, I talked to one of my sons a few minutes ago to ask him what he thinks love is.  He said that “love is and love isn’t.”  When I asked him to explain that to me, he mentioned that people are “looking for love...”  Without him realizing it, he stated the biggest problem that we are dealing with in the world today.  We are “looking” for love when we need to “be” love.– 

How is that possible to “be” love?  Let’s take a look at definition together and see what it says.  Maybe we can commit to an aspect of the definition and determine to “be” that.  

Here we go...

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
4Love is patient and sweet; love does not envy; love is not upset neither puffed up. 
5Love does not commit what is shameful, neither does it seek its own; it is not provoked, neither does it entertain evil thoughts, 
6Rejoices not in evil, but rejoices in the truth, 
7Endures all things, believes all things, hopes all, bears all.

King James 2000
The Qualities of Love
4Love suffers long, and is kind; love envies not; love vaunts not itself, is not puffed up,
5Does not behave itself rudely, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, keeps no record of evil;
6Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
7Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Love: The Superior Way
4Love is patient, love is kind.  Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited,
5does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs.
6Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.
7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

New Living Translation
Love Is the Greatest
4Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 
5or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 
6It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 
7Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Love is patient and sweet; love does not envy; love is not upset neither puffed up.

King James 2000 Bible
Love suffers long, and is kind; love envies not; love vaunts not itself, is not puffed up,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited,

New Living Translation
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud

Verse 4 begins by telling us that love is patient, which another one explains as suffers long.  A couple of these have the word “and” before it says sweet or kind.  (A side note, this is the first time I have read it with the word “sweet” rather than kind.)  To me, as I read this word “and” I take that to mean that while I am patient or suffering long I am also to be kind at the same time.  What?  Be kind and suffer long at the same time?  What does that mean exactly?  How about some examples?
When I’m in line at the DMV I am to smile at others and be encouraging, not join in on the complaining.
When waiting for someone to go somewhere, I am not to tap my foot or drum my fingers on the table.  
When someone is not getting the concept of something and continue to make the same mistake I am to encourage them and not belittle them.
When someone is making an excuse I think is silly, I am not to roll my eyes.

Next in this definition, we see love does not envy or is not jealous.  What does that mean?  An online dictionary defines envy as “a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.”  Okay, that makes me want to see what “covetousness” means...covetousness, according to the dictionary, means inordinately or wrongly desirous of wealth or possessions; greedy.  The second definition states the meaning as “eagerly desirous.”  

Wow.  This one speaks greatly to some of the social media posts I’ve read lately.  

The first part of the definition is a feeling of discontent.  That would mean it is a problem with self even before anyone else is involved.  Without seeing what other people have, we start with our own discontent.  Wow.  I had never realized that.  

The second part of the definition is we are looking at someone else’s advantages and want them for ourselves; looking at someone else’s success and wanting it for ourselves; or looking at someone else’s possessions and wanting them for ourselves.  

When a friend, coworker, neighbor, spouse, sister, brother, son, daughter, or anyone else has an opportunity that we do not have, instead of thinking how unfair it is that they are offered this and we are not, lets love them by being happy for them.  Say it out loud, “I’m so happy for you.”  Write it down in a note, “I am so happy for you.”  If envy or jealousy begin to rise up, repeat it to yourself that you are happy they were given this opportunity.  Let love overcome.  

Okay, we just discussed that love is not jealous or envious of others’ opportunities, advantages, or wealth.  Now we read that love does not boast, is not proud or puffed up.  What does that mean?

When we love, we do not brag.  We are not self-important, arrogant, or pompous.  This does not necessarily mean that if we have money and nice things that we “rub in the face” of others.  In truth, sometimes when we don’t have what someone else does, we can brag and boast that we don’t have certain advantages in order to make others feel bad for having what they have!  I think a lot of us are arrogant, self-important, and pompous without realizing it.  

Money and possessions do not make us unloving.  In the same way, the lack of money and possessions do not make us loving.  

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 
Thanks for reading and learning with me.


The Bible verses came from and the definitions came from 


Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Change In Thoughts, A New Idea

I've been reading posts in Facebook.  I used to enjoy reading posts.  Funny jokes, seeing what my friends and family are up to, positive or life-affirming quotes, and, of course, Bible verses.  Now, it is different.  I have read posts that cause my heart to break.  Not because of illness or weather-related tragedies, but because of language that is revealing of the hearts of people I know (or are known by friends of mine, it is Facebook!).  Does that mean my heart is perfect?  Absolutely not!  My heart is bent toward pride and selfishness and more sins than I care to admit.

We have a new president of the United States.  We will have new people placed in governmental positions.  One thing each of them will need is our prayers.

I am placing an alarm on my phone to remind to pray for the governing leaders of our country.  If you would like to commit to pray with me for our country's leadership, comment and let me know.  However, if you would like to complain or discuss melanin or gossip about people in leadership, this is not the blog for you.

Still living a grace-dependent life,

Sunday, January 8, 2017

This is my first badge for meeting a writing goal.  This was for November 2016.  I'm just getting around to posting it :) 

I've started a new novel and still need to finish the one I was working on during November.  Prayers appreciated.

Also, our GMG (Good Morning Girls) group begins tomorrow, January 9, 2017.  We will be reading 1 Samuel this session.  We read one chapter a day, Monday through Friday.  If you are a Facebook friend and would like to join in on reading, message me and I will be happy to add you to the group.

Still dreaming of going to the ACFW conference...

Peace to you, my dear readers.

Ever grace-dependent,