A friend emailed me a devotional by another writer, (Elisabeth Elliot), and it was about love. She did something in her article that I decided I must do. She took Corinthians 13, wrote the opposite of each love characteristic, and replaced the word "love'' with her own name. Just think about that for a minute and let it sink in (I had to.) It's a scary thought to think of using your own name, and I had to let it soak in for a couple of days before I got the guts to do it myself. It's scary because I know it will reveal things about myself that I don't want to see. But I want to change those things, and they're not going to change unless I admit they exist. I would encourage anyone to do this exercise, whether you think you know what love is or not. (Anyone who does this will have it worded differently than me because it's about the individual. So if you do it you would fill in the blanks about yourself. It doesn't mean I think that I'm horrible at everyone of these traits (or that you are if you do this.) But I'm going to go through each one best I can because there is always room for improvement. You have to write it how you interpret it for yourself, not how I do.) There is always room for improvement. So here goes nothing...
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
A look in the mirror:
Tara is not patient. Tara is not always kind. Tara isn't always content with what she has, takes it for granted and often thinks more about what she doesn't have rather than count the blessings she does. Tara often lets her pride come in between her relationships and dictate them rather than love...because she's stubborn, always has to be right, and is not always a good listener= because pride is deafening. Tara sometimes shares thoughts/opinions about others that doesn't bring them honor or paint them in a good light. Tara has been in survival mode for so long that she's taught herself to look out for herself, and it has caused her to be self-seeking sometimes instead of thinking of others first. Tara is easily angered when she's feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Tara dictates her relationships with others by how they have hurt her in the past and holds onto those hurts to use as a crutch against someone when they hurt her again. Tara needs not to be cynical of others and wouldn't be if she remembered to be happy in Jesus who is the truth. Tara does not always protect the honor of those she's supposed to love, especially when they hurt her. Tara is insecure and does not trust those she should trust the most. Tara doesn't look for hope in bad situations. Instead she looks for the exit sign. Tara often gives up and checks out mentally when things get too difficult and often perseveres halfheartedly. Because there are times she knows she could try harder, and she knows what she needs to do in those times, but she doesn't...
So many things I've always thought there was justification for... but the Word does not change. The Word does not bend. And so there it is, right there in black and white. This is a big step among all the little baby steps to learning what love truly is. I do believe, that what ever has been done in the past to distort my views of love CAN be undone, because I believe in the Word, and it's more than ink on paper. It's truly alive. I know because I feel it. It breathes air into my life. It moves through my life like the wind blows through the trees. All I have to do is open the door and let it in.