I mentioned in a recent post that I am reading Crazy Love, by Francis Chan.
I am not finished with the book but I have one word for this book so far: whoa. Talk about challenging and eye opening. For example, take this blurb from the chapter I just finished, which was called "Serving Leftovers to a Holy God":
The word love is so overused and worn out. What does God mean by love? He tells us,
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.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
But even those words have grown tired and overly familiar, haven't they? I was challenged to do a little exercise with these verses, on that was profoundly convicting. Take the phrase "Love is patient" and substitute your name for the word love. Do it for every phrase in the passage.
By the end, don't you feel like a liar? If I am meant to represent what love is, then I often fail to love people well.
So I tried it. Aaaaand....yikes.
Anna is patient, Anna is kind. Anna does not envy, she does not boast; she is not proud. Anna does not dishonor others, she is not self-seeking, she is not easily angered, she keeps no record of wrongs. Anna does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. She always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
After I read through it again and put my name into the passage instead of "love" I thought something like "ah maaaan, FAIL." Not kidding. Were you expecting something eloquent like "goodness gracious, I have not succeeded at embodying the essence of love." Nope. Honestly, this is rough! God calls us to be love, show His love, love our neighbor, etc, etc. Love is, isn't, does and doesn't do all the things listed above from 1 Corinthians. Am I those things? Do I do those good things or avoid those bad things? Do I embody God's love?
Oof, I know I've got something to think about now... Gee thanks, Francis.