God’s love absolutely amazes me. The fact that God speaks to us in the first place is absolutely mind-boggling. But, then, to think that God speaks to us frail, flawed and finite human beings in loving, honoring, respectful ways is really beyond my grasp. Out of His love for us, God constantly seeks us out, even when we continually turn away. God knows that the very best thing for every one of us is to be in a love relationship with Him.
Love does not dishonor others [Love is not rude], Love is not self-seeking. – 1 Corinthians 13:5
God’s loving ways and thoughts are far higher and deeper than ours. God is the Sovereign Authority over all there is, and certainly our Superior. Yet, our God speaks to us intimately and with great respect through His Holy Scriptures and Holy Spirit. Even when God must confront us in clear, strong ways about our wrong behavior and tell us hard truths about ourselves, God is never rude. Love does not dishonor others, Love is not rude, Love is not self-seeking.
But what about my tone? My words? My attitude? How do I come across when crossed? Dishonoring others in any way comes from an attitude of ugly, self-deluding over-importance and entitlement. We can get all rude, nasty and uppity (and sometimes dangerous) when someone dares to cut in front us – in a line, in a car, in our lives – in any way. Our tone, words and attitudes can turn sarcastic, biting, dismissive, destructive and dishonoring when others in our world dare to turn their attention to things other than meeting our very important needs. (Even if they have no idea what those needs of ours are in the first place – because we didn’t tell them!) This is not love. Love does not dishonor others, Love is not rude, Love is not self-seeking.
Self-seeking attitudes and behaviors have nothing to do with love! Ego-warped thinking – What have you done for me lately? What will I get out of you that will be good for me? – is a poisonous, self-centered attitude that gives birth to all kinds of relationship-killing behaviors. Manipulation. Shaming. Using. Abusing. Disregarding. Disrespecting. Dishonoring. When we are stuck in our self-seeking attitudes, there is no seeking for the other’s very best. There is no seeking for the other one to truly know love and truly feel loved. Lust and covetousness are the real names for a self-seeking attitude – I want what I want, when I want it, how I want it, from where I want it and from whom I want it. There is only me. There is no other. This is not love. Love does not dishonor others, Love is not rude, Love is not self-seeking.
God’s love always seeks the other out. God’s love seeks us out, even when we are only seeking for ourselves. God does not need us to fulfill something that He lacks. There is nothing lacking in God. But, oh, God wants us! And God wants to give us the fullness of His joy as we grow in an intimate love relationship with Him! God always seeks us. God always seeks to give us His very best. Love does not dishonor others, Love is not rude, Love is not self-seeking.
May we each choose to speak and act in loving, honoring and respectful ways. May we each seek to give to others our very best as we consider what is truly best for them. This is love.