I feel like I write a lot about love. I wrote about it here. And here. And that's OK because love is important.
But—jeepers. Sunday's sermon smacked me upside the head and asked the question: "Rachel, do you really love?"
We all know those love verses. You probably had them read at your wedding. Or maybe you've heard them at someone else's wedding. You can probably find it in your Bible with your eyes closed. But just in case you're not familiar, read them again:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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. (I Corinthians 13:4-6)
We know it, right? Right.
So what my pastor did on Sunday morning was ask us to read it aloud. However, instead of saying "love" or "it," insert your name. You do it:
_______ is patient, _______ is kind. _______ does not envy, _______ does not boast, _______ is not proud. _______ is not rude, _______ is not self-seeking, _______ is not easily angered, _______ keeps no record of wrongs. _______ does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (I Corinthians 13:4-6)
How does that feel? I kind of felt like a liar. Even from the beginning when I said, "Rachel is patient, Rachel is kind," I didn't believe it. I haven't been patient lately. I'm kind when I feel like it. It just went downhill from there. I can do all those things, but I don't do them consistently. It's kind of Fruits-of-the-Spirity. I'm clearly hit and miss with those, too.
Am I really exemplifying love? Are you really exemplifying love?
How can we get better at this? I know it requires a lot of help from God, who is love and shows it better than any of us ever could. But what can we do to up our game? To not be embarrassed as we read and reread that passage?
I love sermon smackdowns. In that I-don't-really-like-this-but-it's-good-for-me kind of way.