One of my favourite Bible verses is 1 Corinthians 16:14 – “Do everything with love.”
It means more than just to “treat others kindly and lovingly”. It means that, WHATEVER we do, we must do it with love and righteousness in mind.
Sounds simple enough but this is an everyday challenge for me. It is easy to be all chirpy and lovey-dovey when you’re having a good day and no one’s annoying you. But, when the stress of life takes over and when people don’t act the way you expect them to; temper flares, patience runs low, complaints pile up, things get done half heartedly and the last thing on your mind is to love.
Problems arise when people don’t understand what love really is. When we get love wrong, we treat others wrong, we treat ourselves wrong and we allow others to treat us wrong.
Love is patient and kind;
Love does not envy or boast;
It is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
It is not irritable or resentful;
It does not rejoice at wrong doing,
But rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things,
Believes all things,
Hopes all things,
Endures all things.
— 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 —
I have a love-hate relationship with the above verse. It made me understand that love is hardcore and love is hard work. Love is not a feeling but a choice. If I say I love someone, then these are the things I need to do.
But, this verse also made me understand and appreciate the sacrifices of the people who love me. They didn’t love me because they feel good about it or they had to. They love me because they chose to. Knowing this truth made me ashamed of the times I acted like a spoilt brat as if I’m entitled to their good treatment and patience.
Sometimes we treat strangers better than we treat our loved ones. We don’t get easily impatient or annoyed at strangers. We don’t have unreasonable expectations from strangers. We are not rude to or yell at strangers. We show more courtesy to strangers than our loved ones. Funny isn’t it?
Time to reflect on how we treat those closest to us and be a little more appreciative of them. We have no idea how hard it is for others to love us sometimes. Lol!
As to live a life with righteousness in mind, we should continually ask ourselves, “How will this decision or action affect my heart?” and “How will my actions or the things I say affect others?”.
Imagine everything you do, every moment of time, as a seed. We have been given the responsibility for choosing which seeds to plant in our lives and the lives of others.
Plant good seeds and our garden flourish with beautiful flowers and bear wonderful fruits. Sometimes we need to help others tend their gardens so they too can flourish and bear fruits. And sometimes we need others to help us pull out weeds and water our gardens.
Learning to love ourselves and others, and to constantly be mindful of the decisions we make is not easy at all. But, who says love is easy? Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy.