Every day I meet people, I notice what is on the outside, the styles, the expressions, the hair- do’s, beyond that, I do not see. I am met with serious limitations. I can’t see the heart, the motives, nor can I see into the mind of another person. Even if they tell me, there is no guarantee that I am going to hear things as they were intended.
This is the season of many gatherings with friends and family. How many of those conversations will lead me to see and hear as I ought? I want to deal in truth and not false perceptions. I do not want to jump to my conclusions. I am well practiced at it sadly. I think I see clearly, but often. I am wrong, what I heard is not at all when they meant.
The only way I can know really is by taking the time to listen without thinking about what I want to say next. Listen without interrupting. Even if I know a story that would be perfect - except I also know it is way cooler or more exciting than the one I just heard, just let it pass. I don’t have to have the biggest story. Another good idea I need to remember is no one needs to hear the bad news unless they are part of the solution. I need to be okay with asking questions, good ones that are more than a yes/no answer.
I was reading 1 Corinthians 13 a few days ago, I am reminded of what love looks like really from the Author of Love. Love is patient and love is kind. It keeps no record of wrongs. It hopes all things and believes all things; love never ends.
I think most of usl have those people in our lives that require patience and maybe some extra grace. There are those whose errors in judgement, all the rotten things they have done, are all very fresh in my iron trap memory - yet, who am I really? God has forgiven me so much.
To live and love well, is to extend the standard of love that God Himself sets for us in 1 Corinthian .13. Before I go to another gathering or have people over, I think I am going to re-read that passage. Then I will ask the Author of love to fill me up with His kind of love that I am so often short of.