The Missing Ingredient – Love
What if someone told you that in evaluating your life, the missing ingredient was love? Would that be tough to hear? Would it be tough to admit? Would it be tough to wrestle with? Well, the words of Scripture, in this case, would offer you little comfort, as a succinct paraphrase of I Corinthians 13:1-3 could be, “If I have not love, I am a noisy nothing, gaining nothing.” Ouch!
Well those are tough words, but surely no gentle confronter, nor the Lord Himself would truly desire to leave us comfortless if we were to look into the mirror of God’s Word and not like what we see. But, the only answer is to look there, indeed, but to be a doer and not a hearer only.
How is your love-meter? Sounds like a question a marriage counselor might ask, or worse, a late-night infomercial! I’ve been asking myself that a lot lately, but mostly in regard to my family- my church family and my earthly family. Personally, it’s been a tough pill. I haven’t figured out any other approach, nor do I believe the Lord would have it otherwise, but to revisit the familiar words of I Corinthians 13. I’m simply meditating daily in the first few verses, taking them one phrase at a time. Here is a famous list of characteristics of true Biblical love, describing this virtue both positively, what it is like, and negatively, what it is not like. Each day I’m taking a trait and thinking about its meaning, and asking myself, “What does this look like in my life.” Pretty simple. I try very hard to let the Word speak, not being defensive, and to be prayerful, asking God to reveal my sins and hardheartedness the description of love reveals.
So far, this has yielded little but being disturbed (just being honest here). I’m sure there’s been no great transformation, and I’m not sure there’s been much change, visible or invisible. However, I’m confident that being disturbed about sin is the absolute first step necessary for repentance and change. Since Jesus said that the whole law could be summed up in two commands, love God and love others, I feel like this is a pretty big piece of meat and it will take quite a bit of chewing. Really, I just want to be committed to chewing it and chewing it, and not giving up until the ingested Word yields its fruit in its season. That’s a bit of a mixed metaphor, but I think it’s a Biblical mix.
By the way, How’s your love-meter? Is love the missing ingredient in your life? Hmmm… there’s an echo in this room.
Written by Brent Brondyke, Music Pastor