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The Greatest . . .

of these is LOVE. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us this, and I’ve known this all my life. This is a commonly quoted scripture, even currently being used on the DIY network for a commercial about marriages and construction.

It recently became much more clear to me. I attended a Spiritual Dimensions Weekend retreat – a time for me to get alone with Jesus and listen to Him. I came with a specific agenda, questions I wanted answered: do I stay or do I go? where do I go? when do I go? what is the plan? And I wanted details, timelines, everything.

I’ve thought of becoming involved in linguistics; I’ve thought about getting a formal education in God and the Bible to be able to encourage my Christian family; my pastor has been a sermon series about faith.

Obviously, once I thought about it, I realized I wasn’t trusting God to be in control.  However, at the time, Jesus took all that in stride, addressing my control-freak tendencies while assuring me of one thing: the greatest of these is LOVE. Here is what I had always overlooked in chapter 13:

1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels [IF I WAS A LINGUIST], but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy [IF I ENCOURAGED PEOPLE], and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge [AN EDUCATION & GOD’S DETAILS], and if I had such faith that I could move mountains [AS MY PASTOR WAS ENCOURAGING], but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

God’s response to my demand of details and timelines was this: I love you. Love others. IF I don’t love others, I’ll be fingernails on a chalkboard; I’ll be worth nothing; I’ll have accomplished nothing. Basically, my life will have been wasted and useless.

OUCH! I would hate to stand before my Creator and explain to Him why I wasted the life He gave me – why I had allowed this gift of life to become useless.

I can’t do this. I won’t do this. So, let’s make it applicable to my reality (to be continued).

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