So last week I had a serious wake up call about what it means to love. I mean the kind of love that is self-sacrificing, putting the desires of others before its own wants and needs. The kind of love that isn’t based on mutual exchanges of “you’ve been good to me so I’m obligated to be good to you”. A few weeks ago my mom fell ill right after my dad. I knew she needed someone with her to make sure she had been taken care of but I had a ton of work to finish. Immediately I begin to complain about me always sacrificing what I have to do to make sure that everyone else is taken care of…that sounds so horrible right? I had to pause and really get my attitude in check. Isn’t this what true love is all about? The same kind of love that caused God to sacrifice his one and only son so that we would be able to live under the dispensation of grace. Not because we were deserving but because he loved us beyond condition and prerequisites. Love is never about you. True love will cause you to see that you are flawed but will love you in a way that makes you forget your imperfectness. True love pushes you outside of your comfort zone and true love denies self. That moment God convicted me and I was taught a lesson in what love was not. I ended up staying with my mom to assure she was okay and changed my attitude from feeling like I was being accommodating to doing it because I love her. God knew I still had lessons to learn in unconditional love. You see, my mom normally takes care of my nana but because she wasn’t feeling well I had to step to the task. I picked up my nana’s prescriptions as my mom had requested and would drop them off to her house. When I arrived we caught up and I asked her if she needed me to do anything for her. Anyone who knows me knows that I abhor germs. I do not like touching trash bins or trash…not to mention I cannot function in clutter. She asked me if I could dump her toilet waste as she is unable to travel up and down the stairs. My mom is a nurse and she normally does this for my nana but me doing it was a whole other story. But I thought about the lessons that God had taught me earlier about unconditional love and without second thought—I did it. I didn’t complain doing it either because I love my nana and I knew that she isn’t as strong as she used to be. No one else who lived with her would do it and I couldn’t imagine being in the same position and not having someone to help me when I am unable to do for myself. When I got home me and my mom spoke about my visit and she was proud of me for doing a job she knew was outside of my comfort zone. That day I gained a new perspective about myself and the way that I give love. That day my mom sowed a seed into my life. I never expected it but God knew I needed it. God blesses you when you honor his people. There is a blessing in loving others and I’m do glad about the daily lessons God is teaching me about unconditional love.
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. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV)