The Challenge of Love

Many thanks to the youth who led Central's worship well yesterday. Their reminder is important: keep it simple - love. If we have to be reminded to love (and instructed to by Jesus), there must be something challenging about loving. If you've ever tried to love, you know there is something challenging about loving.

Loving requires us to be concerned about the needs of others. We must, at times, put aside our own need to be admired, appreciated, right, catered to, and clever in order to give these to others. In short, to love is to keep our self-centered nature in check by being selfless for another.

And, we have to not keep score. It is too easy to keep a long list of times when the one you're trying to love has been selfish, another long list of when you've been selfless, and, somehow, underestimate the reverse. Today build a list of when the one you love has been selfless in caring for you and acknowledge times you have been selfish in your dealings with him/her.

To love well demands effort. Jesus commands "love one another as I have loved you," but you may not know how to begin. Here's a start: take Paul's description of love below and read your name into it. Where I've put a blank is where Paul wrote "love." Put your name there.

4 (Your name) is patient; ____ is kind; ____ is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. ____ does not insist on his/her own way; ____ is not irritable or resentful; 6 he/she does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 ____ bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

Now, by the grace of God, be intentional about making your love chapter true.