“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.” (1 Corinthians 13:5 ESV)

God has called us to do one thing in our lives and that one thing is to love.

I was thinking about this as I was reading a story about a man who went to jail. There was a man who ran outside yelling and screaming with a gun in his hand. As a low-flying plane passed overhead his house he shot it down. When he was asked why he shot it down he said that he was drinking and watching a NASCAR race. The plane’s loud noise disrupted the race so he shot it down because he couldn’t hear the television.

This may sound like an extreme example, but sadly stories like these are becoming more and more common. When I was in California I saw people walking past what I thought was a homeless man, but when I got closer I realized it was a young boy bleeding on the sidewalk. Just the other day a couple insisted on my wife treating their dog at the ER because she was the white doctor. It seems as though we have lost sight of what love is. When asked, most people believe they are loving and kind, but we are not seeing proof of that in the world around us. I don’t think we set out to be unloving. The problem is that we either misinterpret the meaning of love or we only put it into action when it is convenient for us. Don’t get me wrong. I see all the amazing things that many of you do in our community every day. I have never felt more at home than I do right here, but there are people who need our help and our encouragement all around us.

Take a little time to look for the need in the lives around you because Christ first showed us love so we are able to love as He did. This begins with forgiving those who don’t deserve it and ends in a new light rising in the darkness. This verse is a perfect example of what love is. I ask you to read it several times and to ask yourself if this is the kind of love that you bring into the lives around you.

 

The Rev. Chris Swales is pastor of Badlands Ministry. This message is brought in cooperation with the Ellwood City Ministerium.