We've got the map
Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. Love never fails! (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
How well are we revealing God's love to those we live with and serve on a daily basis? After all, there is no specific 'day' to focus on these character traits - it is just expected every single day of our lives! For most of us, this thing called "love" is like one of those "match games" you see online these days where you have to align the right sequence of candies or jewels. There are little hidden bears or objects behind those colorful squares - waiting to be uncovered - reliant upon your skill and reasoning. If the hidden is to be uncovered, you must be very, very "calculated" in your moves. Sometimes I think we approach loving each other in this same way - we make "calculated moves" hoping we will reveal what we are looking for, but making many a move which doesn't prove to uncover what it is we were imagining was underneath. Yep, love requires some "skill", but it isn't as "calculated" as some may think! To truly understand love, we have to turn to the one who exemplified love in the first place - Christ Jesus himself.
Love isn't so much about the "calculated risks" we take, but about the person we allow to shine through us as we respond to the movement around us. In life, we move one way, but we don't always control what comes back our way. This is where we need the ability to be loving like we see repeatedly in examining the life of Christ. He was consistently kind and patient - even when ridiculed, spat upon, and nailed to the cross. He was not jealous of those who had more than he did, lived in better houses than his, or even had a bigger "church" than his! He didn't get all uppity when he knew the answers to the problems at hand. He also didn't push his way through or over others to get noticed.
I don't want us to think love is just something which we just "happen" to get right on occasion. - Yep - there are some calculated risks we take - when we go out on the line for something we believe in or someone we care about. Yep - there are some hidden things in relationship that give us challenge after challenge to attempt to uncover. Yep - there are times when we will get to the point of thinking we will never get past the place where we find ourselves today. But...we can take a lesson from the one who has taken the risks, is able to uncover the hidden, and who knows the way out of the difficult places. Christ comes alongside to show us the way to love each other. He has already walked through everything we are facing today. How is it Christ can help us with this thing called "love" - he has already lived it out for us and left us a road map to follow in his Word! Just sayin!