Ugh! That’s what goes through my head every time I hear 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. I have such a hard time being patient and there are plenty of times I feel extremely challenged being kind!
What’s your reaction?
Love is patient… Love is kind… You’ve heard this verse a million times before. Be honest now. What’s your internal reaction when you hear it? I often have a huge, “ugh! I need to re-center myself again” feeling when I read that. Other times I catch myself saying, “yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I know.” I dismiss it because deep inside I’m thinking I can’t be all of that, and I don’t always feel all of that so it’s easier to just move on and only allow those beautiful and challenging words to touch me in a very superficial way.
During this month of love in which we celebrate Valentine’s Day, I invite you to stop and really listen prayerfully to your reactions to the most beautiful and challenging verse on love.
How much we allow ourselves to receive love and how much we want to offer it has so much to do with how we view ourselves, our relationship with God, and our experiences with others. Living into that triangle of interdependent love is our greatest commandment. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:27) Jesus says, Do this and you will live. (Luke 10:28)
An exercise on love
I invite you to spend a few minutes with this exercise using 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 as a way to reflect on the love you have for yourself and God. This will affect how much love you have inside of yourself to give to others.
Write or read to yourself the verse with the proper word in scripture (Love is patient…)
Write or read to yourself the verse with your name. (Christine is patient…)
Write or read to yourself using your name for God (My Jesus, My Lord, My Creator is patient… )
______________________ is patient;
_______________________ is kind;
______________________ is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.
______________________ does not insist on its own way;
______________________ is not irritable or resentful;
______________________ does not rejoice in wrongdoing,
______________________ rejoices in the truth.
______________________ bears all things,
______________________ believes all things,
______________________ hopes all things,
______________________ endures all things.
I know this is hard! Please don’t let this exercise be a self-critical one. When I offer this exercise at retreats there are people who just can’t fill it out and that’s okay. When I did this exercise with my name I added “will try” to every line. The point is not to dwell on what you’re not doing or what you’re not feeling. The point is to start a conversation in your heart. How much love are you allowing in your life? How much are you loving yourself? How connected do you feel to an unconditionally loving God?
The answer to these questions will have everything to do with how much you’re allowing yourself to receive God’s grace in your everyday life. The more of God’s grace you can receive the more you can offer in love and gratitude. This receiving God’s grace and responding in gratitude is what we’ll be reflecting and sharing at our upcoming retreats, Grace and Gratitude: Cultivating a Grateful Heart that Believes I have Enough, I do Enough, I am Enough starting March 16th.
Wishing you some sacred time and space to reflect on the beauty and challenge of love.
Did you try this exercise? Was it hard for you?
How has 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 spoke to you in the past?
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