"Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Phil. 2:4"
LISTEN TO: Everyone Matters: The Hollis Boys, 6 and 7, "Speaking up for our sisters against hate"
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
As part of our 2018 Lenten resolution to become more Christ-like, we turn to Paul's inspired passage on love.
Paul breaks down for us what Love does, just as Jesus models for us in his actions and teachings how love acts and reacts in the world. Today we reflect on love's trait on not insisting on its own way.
Uh-oh. This is a tough one. We are trained all our lives to have expert opinions and actions and to give them readily. Self-help sections at the bookstores encourage us along this way with titles like, Winning Through Intimidation, Looking Out for Number One, or Creative Aggression. Successful people are the ones who know how to put themselves forward, right? They have no problems getting up and expressing their opinions. Taken to an extreme, we find it hard to listen to others. To consider others' point of view. Worse, we can come to the mistaken conclusion that if someone else speaks up, or suggests an idea, it reflects poorly on us. We must come on top at all costs.
Love's way is different. Yes we have a right to our educated opinions, idea and viewpoints. We don't necessarily have to give in . However Love does not insist. When we insist, we dig in. We are convinced our way is the only way. We dwell on our opinions. We become rigid and refuse to hear alternatives. It becomes a contest of the wills, an win-loose proposition. Love behaves differently. Love has its perspective, and yes will advocate for it. But love will not not force its beliefs on others. Love listens, considers, engages, and can even allow another decision or action to move forward, without bitterness or resentment. Love is always concerned about dialogue and furthering connection. No matter how educated and experienced, Love never flaunts it or believes it is so advanced that it can't learn from someone else.
Two hunters were out hunting and come upon what appeared at first as an abandoned farm. The barn was sagging, the house was in disrepair, and there were junk cars and car parts lying around. The only thing that made it a working farm were a few chickens pecking away and a goat wandering around. As they entered the yard they came across an old well.
One asked the other "Wonder how deep it is."
The other said, "We'll have to drop something down and listen for the splash."
They look around for something to drop down the well, but the only thing close by was an old transmission. They both hauled it over to the well and dropped it in. They counted and waited a long time for the splash. It was deep, deep one all right.
They turned to leave and saw the goat was charging at them, head down, horns headed straight for them. At the last moment they jumped aside, and the goat went right past them and straight over the side and down the well. They looked at each other in amazement.
As they started to leave, the owner of the farm came up. They chatted for a moment and got permission to hunt on his land. The farmer asked, "Have you seen my goat?"
They said, "Your goat almost killed us charging at us. You should have had that goat tied up."
The farmer, "I thought I had him tied up to an old transmission."
We follow what we're tied to. Let us be tied to love.
PRAY: " In every conservation we have today, may we listen and act with care for each person we meet."