I went to a jewelry party. You know, the kind where a friend invites you to her home to see a presentation and you can purchase the items you choose.
At my friend’s home, I was able to see several more friends. I still consider them friends, even though we have not spoken for many years simply because we have not been together. Some of these women once knew me well. We were transparent with one another. We were friends, I thought. And yet, these women are no longer really in my life. This makes me sad.
Once they embraced the mission and vision of our particular local church – or at least, they said they did. Some were even involved in ministry. They loved us, or we thought they did. They left our church, and in so doing, they left me. Evidently, the reason they left was more important to them than their relationship with me. IF that reason was the call of God, I am comforted. Otherwise . . .
Again and again, I have had to face reality when it comes to people – and it has not been a pleasant experience. It’s been painful. Just because someone says they love you doesn’t mean they really do. Because love is really this:
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. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
Who can measure up to that? I know I am continually reading this, putting my name in there, “Karen is patient, Karen is kind, etc.” And I am continually reminded of how unloving I can be. I wonder if I have hurt people by being impatient, unkind, envious, boastful, prideful, dishonoring, self-seeking, or easily angered. How many have I failed to protect by not speaking up? How often do I mistrust or lack hope? How many times have I been tempted to give up on people and just write them off, not persevering in the relationship? And so, my love has failed.
Oh Lord, please help me to love others as You have loved me. Change and renew my heart to be more like Yours.