Don’t look down. You may realize there is either more or less of you to love than you last remember. When were the last time you walked through a shopping mall or department store? It’s interesting what happens when you find yourself in familiar territory, yet the sting of reality always finds a way to remind you of flaws you worked so hard to forget.
Life has an interesting way of treating everyone like a transactional shopping experience. If you’re anything like me, you’ll go into battle focused with a clear-cut exit strategy. On the other hand, many others experience ups and downs of relationships, broken promises, and false perceptions much like designer jeans, sale items and the lie that one size fits all.
By now, you might be wondering what this is all about, and it’s precisely that question that has awakened the restlessness of your soul. Just when you thought everything was getting better, and starting to look up—BAM, the Jaws of Life grip down on your personal space in unimaginable ways of discomfort.
What would it be like if you entrusted your secrets to someone, yet that person felt at liberty to share that information with anyone who would listen? Maybe you ran off and got married because you were convinced that would stop your manipulating partner from repeatedly disrespecting you in front of others, yet it didn’t. Maybe you’ve struggled in secret with your weight and there was nothing more important to you than to be accepted by others—literally anyone.
The love you once remembered experiencing through frequent smiles has left your cheeks hurting from sheer joy, and has now vanished as quickly as vapor. Somewhere in the process of shopping for a replacement boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse, you began to stuff your pain deep within the floorboards of your heart. At this point, you swore allegiance to self, and that no one would ever discover your true pain. Having consulted with self, this strategy appeared flawless because your reputation was paramount, your popularity was vital (yet temporary at best), and your perceived appearance was as convincingly delusional as Miley Cyrus inability to accept wise counsel.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, “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 perseveres. Love never fails.” (NIV)
Now it’s time to ask the question you’ve been dying to know, and it’s not, “What is love?”, rather, “Who is love?” Truth is not relative, nor does it mask itself behind persuasive arguments or professionals with highly skilled vocabularies. Will the thing you’ve come to understand as love, ultimately stand up to the test of eternity? Have you ever taken time to think about the depth of your version of love? Is your love proud, arrogant, manipulative, self-seeking of attention, or rude in anyway? Does the person you’re in love with share a transparent commitment to genuine love as previously described, or are you both merely focused on satisfying your fantasies in bed, or even perhaps the idea of playing house as a pretend spouse?
Listen—life is short; there is neither discussion nor debating that fact. Everyone has a story, which is at best, unfinished. Let’s get the story straight once and for all: love is not merely a feeling. I’m just one man making a difference in the lives of those who will give me the time of day. I may not know your personal story, but I would like to. In all you do, please don’t miss my point—true love handles all your pain and struggles, and gives you something your best attempts never could—Peace.
Until next time, Be encouraged.
I speak to hundreds of thousands of young adults, men, women, and couples annually on leadership, decision making, and relationships. Sometimes life has a way of being the antidote to life itself. If you’d like more information on this topic or how to bring me in as a speaker for your next event, please contact me.
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