April 27, 2018

Love Never Fails

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8

Self-Seeking Love

We crave love; from God and others. Because of our broken humanity, our display and understanding of love have become skewed. When we think of unhealthy human love, we tend to reverse the scripture above and see it lived out more like this: “Love is impatient and indifferent. It is jealous, boastful and proud. Love is rude, self-seeking, and easily angered, keeping a scorecard of wrongs committed. It delights in evil and deceit; it exposes, doubts, discourages and gives up. Love always fails.”¬†Though a bit extreme, this display of “love” is not uncommon, and leaves us with a longing for love that does not wound nor die.

Hesed Love

Love is not something we gain or earn, with the emphasis on effort and striving to keep it alive. Rather, it is something we give and receive, unconditionally. We need a better understanding.

In her book, “Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus”, Lois Tverberg explains a true, long-acting love, as taught in I Corinthians 13. The Hebrew word for this love is Hesed.

“Based in a covenantal relationship, hesed is a steadfast, rock-solid faithfulness that endures to eternity.
Hesed is love so enduring that it persists beyond any sin or betrayal to mend brokenness and
graciously extend forgiveness. Hesed is to love as God loves.”

The Way of Love

How do we love as God loves? We start by deepening our relationship with Him. As we come to understand HIS love for us, we are aware of what true love is (and what it is not). As we pull His love and acceptance into our hearts, we begin to pour out that same love into others. It’s a life-giving cycle of love taken in, love absorbed, love poured out.

We put into practice I Corinthians 13:4-8. When we fail, we shake out the wrong perspective and try again. We go for patience and kindness, humility and submission; we practice hope, trust, and perseverance. Little by little, step by step, we transform our understanding into God’s way and love becomes Hesed.

Following the way of love,

Mary Ethel Eckard

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Mary Ethel Eckard is an author, speaker and teacher called to encourage Christians in their faith journey. She is passionate about sharing Christ with all who will listen. Through her captivating testimony of relying on God's strength and guidance through the heights and depths of life, Mary helps others find freedom from the shame and pain of their past. Mary resides in Frisco, Texas and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

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