“Love is patient, love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4–8a)
As we watch the state of the world these days it is hard to see the love that exists. Yet, there are many wonderful people all around us each day. People who love us and whom we love, but are we showing them love?
Lately, the word love and its meaning have been on my mind. What is love really? Is it a noun or is it a verb? For some people it may only be a noun. The common expressions, “Love you,” or “I love you” are used by most of us every single day, but they are just words if there is no action. You see love is a verb that requires action.
Our motto is: “Love is an action word.”
There are many verses in the bible that talk about love, but the two that follow are God’s greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37-40, and Mark 12:28-34).
“’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind’ – this is the great and foremost commandment, and there is a second like it, ‘You shall love your Neighbors as yourself’. There is no other commandment greater than these. The whole Law and Prophets hang on these two commands.” (Matthew 22:37-40, Mark 12:28-34).
Love requires us to actively treat others with patients and kindness. Having patients means keeping our cool, being slow to anger, learning to be quiet and allowing others to speak before we respond. In our day-to-day family life, it is easy to forget to listen to one another. This leads to arguments between siblings, parents, and their children, and/or spouses. When one person feels that they are not being heard it causes them to react quickly and often without thinking. The discussion can quickly become heated, and feelings get hurt. Learning to let each person speak without interrupting allows them to be heard, to feel validated and allows for a more thoughtful and/or kind response.
The same holds true when dealing with people within our community. We have all have had times where the person in the car in front of us is going too slow or the person in front of us in line at the grocery store is taking too long. It is easy to get upset and yell or say something that is unkind, but the right thing to do is to be respectful and polite. Easier said than done, right? Well, remember that we do not have a clue what they are going through. They could be dealing with much more than we know. Just as they do not know that we are running late, or that the car would not start, or the dog got out. We have become a society that is so self-involved that we have forgotten to stop and think before we react and to do things from a place of kindness.
Love is an action word which requires us to be accountable for our actions. If we would all take the time to show one another some compassion, kindness and patients we might just be surprised how the smiles spread and our own lives would not seem so out of control. We may even make new friends in the process. So, keep moving forward and learn to tell a better story.