Love is perfect, We are not.

walking_alone1 Corinthians 13:4-8

New International Version (NIV)

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.

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.

Everyone who knows a thing or two has read this word and applied it to their personal life. Almost every girl whom knows of this verse, that I have known models this after their next relationship. When we finally get in a relationship..We aim to be patient and kind. We don’t try to envy. We try not to boast and be proud. We seek to honor and be selfless for the person, to not be self seeking. We aim to be patient with emotion, as we aim to not be easily angered. We try to forgive completely and not bring up wrongs. We try to not delight in what is bad, but rejoice in the truth. We aim to protect our loved one and trust, hope, and persevere through the relationship. I mean, why not? These verses are the best representation of a successful relationship that I can find in the bible. Does this not seem like a recipe for a successful relationship? Of course it is. In many occasions… people have said to remove love on the following verses and place your name. (Insert your name here) is patient, (Insert your name here) is kind. (Insert your name here) does not envy, (Insert your name here) does not boast, (Insert your name here) is not proud. 5 (Insert your name here) does not dishonor others, (Insert your name here) is not self-seeking, (Insert your name here) is not easily angered, (Insert your name here) keeps no record of wrongs. 6 (Insert your name here) does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 (Insert your name here) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

There is only one problem, we are not….. love. We are human. We fail. Sometimes we are not patient. We are not kind. We envy. We are prideful and boast. We dishonor. We can be self-seeking. Sometimes, we anger easily. We fall short, and delight in evil. Sometimes we forget to rejoice in truth. We forget to protect. We forget to trust. We forget to hope, and we grow weary and fall short of perseverance.

But verse 8 says “Love never Fails.” Verse 8 talks about God’s works. It took a while to realize…the only one who never fails is God. God never fails. So…GOD is patient, GOD is kind. GOD does not envy, GOD does not boast, GOD is not proud. 5 GOD does not dishonor others, GOD is not self-seeking,GOD is not easily angered, GOD keeps no record of wrongs. 6 GOD does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 GOD always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God is perfect. We are not. As much as we would love and aim to be as selfless and as great as he, we are not. We can only strive to be. When relationships strain and suffer, we must remember that we are not perfect, and we fail, but love never fails.

Oh, but do not get me wrong…Modeling a relationship after 1 Corinthians 13;4-8 is wise. Although we are not perfect. We strive to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be. We strive to be more like God. I used to disregard verse 8, now verse 8 to 13 is my favorite part.

1 Corinthians 13:8-13New International Version (NIV)

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, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 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. 12 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.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Car Values, and such

  
Yesterday I realized something, as I was scraping off ice off of my dad’s car, that if I were to scratch it, my dad would freak out. The value of the car would decrease. I realized that’s how we see the world. Every time we mess up and every time a relationship is flawed, the value of it decreases. That’s how we see it. Every time we hear about someone messing up, in our mind, they have devalued themselves, therefore they are less valuable. But God.. God doesn’t see us like that. 

I grew up purchasing used cars with my dad, because I could not afford a new car. When we would buy, by private owner, my dad would turn into a whole different person. He would be extra assertive and and alert. He would deny any cars that have been in accidents, and would even comment on any scratch the car would have, knowing the owner would lower the price. Owners would lower prices whether they wanted or not, negotiating an even lowered value of the car. But even when you were as assertive and alert as possible, you can still get the wrong end of deal. My first car was bought fast, because I had been pressuring my dad, and it turned out the car had been in an accident and needed a new transmission. I never drove it out of town. The owner rebuilt the exterior, but what really needed to be fixed was the interior. 

Many of us can Identify with my car situation. We focus so much on putting on an aesthetically pleasing front that does not match our unhealthy, used and abused, messed up interior. So why do we beat ourselves up?? Why don’t we change? Why do we continue the cycle of wallowing in guilt, in shame, and in self pity?? Why? Because we grow up knowing that when something is flawed, it loses it’s value forever. A Car can be made new with new parts, but the owner will always know, and that’s an indicator…the car needed different parts, thus changing it’s value to being renewed to a beautiful aesthetically pleasing, yet, still damaged car. 
You might have gotten in a few accidents, maybe a few small ones, maybe a huge one that kept you from functioning properly.. But I am here to tell you that God is bigger than what we know and what we were raised knowing. His value is instilled in you, not by what you have done, but who you are. You are his, and you are loved. That’s how it is, and how it always will be. God can make you completely new. There is no need to keep beating yourself up and returning to mess. Isaiah 1:18 says: “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” God TRANSFORMS you he transforms you from being red as crimson to being white as snow. He TRANSFORMS you to flawless wool. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. Ezequiel 1:19 says: And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,

God can change you like he changed me. He can make you new. Free from guilt and shame and fear. He conquered hell. He can conquer limitations our minds place on him. Today I encourage you to place trust in Gods definition of our value and not the worlds, and walk in faith, victory, and renewal. 

More verses on renewal :http://www.openbible.info/topics/new_creation_in_christ