The Most Excellent Way

“But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (I Corinthians 12:31- 13:2 NIV)

I knew what I should do. I certainly knew how Jesus would respond in this situation. I knew how he wanted me to act. The problem?

I didn’t want to. This instance truly perplexed me. I simply wasn’t feeling it.

And that bothered me.

Rereading I Corinthians 12:31- 13:2 reminded me that good deeds, kind words, and a friendly smile don’t mean a thing without love.

Romans 12:1 reminds us “love must be sincere.”

Wow, that day I truly felt a fraud. And that day, I knew exactly where to place the blame.

Medication.

Those pesky steroids were to treat a severe allergic reaction. I should only need steroids for a few weeks. But, oh, to have my mind messed with for a few weeks!

Knowing the cause and suspected duration eased my mind somewhat. I knew I would continue to do what I should, even though I wasn’t feeling it at that moment.

But, what happens when those loving feelings are MIA for extended periods of time? What does it mean to consistently find ourselves just ‘going through the motions?’

We can’t constantly pour out love if we haven’t first been replenished and refreshed with the love of Jesus. When relying on our own strength, we have a limit. A limit I often reach much faster than I’d expect.

But, when I take my time with Him, His word, and fix my thoughts and attitude on Him, He pours His love into me. I experience those moments where words spilling from my lips aren’t mine, but His. My actions and reactions aren’t my flustered or frustrated response to a surprise situation but a reaction steeped in grace and baked in love.

No, I’m far from perfect, even off steroids. My response is not always seasoned with the joy of the Lord.

Thankfully, I know the One who is perfect. I know the One who is the very definition of love. And, amazingly, He generously pours His portion into my heart when I intentionally sit at His feet.

Naturally, His way is the most excellent way. His way is love. Love is the most excellent way.

 

Reflections:

When do I struggle to love?

What steals my time from the Lord?

 

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your great love, a love that is truly never-ending. Thank You for offering to pour that into me, whatever I need for each day. May my life reflect You and Your love, and may I remember to take the time needed to sit at Your feet, so You can replenish and overflow my heart.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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