By jumping to conclusions and judging something I said before I could have a chance to respond, that does not sound like love to me. By acting as if my explanation really didn't matter, that only their view was the right one, it did not sound like love to me. It is easy of course to proclaim how much you love everyone and how much you practice love in your life, but if your actions don't back up your words, you are like this passage in the bible in First Corinthians 13. It is one of my favorites because it says so much in so few words.
In the first section below, it really states that words or tongues without love, is nothing more than a noisy instrument. Even if you have all this insight into humanity or life, but you don't practice what you preach, your words mean nothing. Yet, so many - especially those that put themselves up on a pedestal - do exactly what this is saying gains you nothing in life.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
This next section is one that I see very few people being able to truly practice. Sure, if everything is going fine and everyone is praising your daily efforts, than it is easy to be kind, patient, and show love. It is when people disagree with us or we disagree with them that true love becomes more difficult to practice. Love isn't about someone pointing out all the faults in another person or where that person is wrong in their view. It is about true understanding. Again, it is easier to preach these things on a daily basis, but more difficult to actually put into practice and live through every moment of your life.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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.
I so love this section because no matter what happens, love will always endure. True love will stand the test of time and it will stand through times when some experience shows you something you don't want to see. Of course, love does not hide behind the ego or fear or a short sighted view. Love does not hide behind fancy curtains and actions that make one's ego stand tall above the crowd. When all else fails, true love remains standing when all other things disappear.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
We really do need to begin to understand what love is all about because it is so lacking in our world. I've only seen very few people demonstrate what true love is all about and none of these held any mantras or signs up proclaiming how much they practiced love. Yet, through their own simple ways, love was abundant and readily available. Love always showed through in their life and to others.
If you have to proclaim that you love others, than you are missing the point of love. If you have to proclaim it, then love is not what is at the center of your life. Just like in the First Corinthians passage above, you may need to go look hard at yourself in a mirror and those things you dislike or that don't add up to love, you may want to go in and check them out. You may even want to remove them from your life. For until we open up our lives through awareness and consciousness, only then will we find what love means.
Blog Post And Images (c) 12/23/13 by Don Shetterly
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