I Cor 13:4-7 "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
The 13th chapter of Corinthians is well known. Both those who read the Bible and those who don't are familiar with it. If you have ever gone to a wedding in your life, you probably have heard these words. So what is so striking about these four verses that I picked out today? What hit me? "Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up." That is what hit me. Why? Because, confession time, I have a desire to parade myself. Really? Yep. This guy hides it well, but inside, I want to be discovered. I want people to look at me and say: "There's Glen Richardson…". I remember that years ago a few of us guys formed "The Ohio Family Rights Association." This was to be a big deal thing, and I am afraid that my motivation was not the purest. I wanted to be known. (It fell through.) The problem is, I still find myself with this mindset. I find it as I blog...thinking that someone will read this and say: "This guy is good." I find myself in this mindset at church…especially after last week and people's kindness after I preached. (No wonder I don't do this more often.) I find myself in this mindset at work. Just yesterday another attorney came up to me and congratulated me on a case that I had won in the Court of Appeals. My response? "Was it in the green book?" (That is a publication that goes out to attorneys to tell them about significant case law.) Why was that my response? Because my name would get out there. Dumb. The thing that I have to realize is that this attitude is not based in love. It is based in selfishness. I have to constantly fight this desire to be recognized. If it happens it has to be a God thing and if it happens, I have to think nothing of it. Instead, God help me, I have to walk in love and not seek it, not desire it, not pursue it. No agents. No PR firms. No spokespeople. Frankly, the only PR firm I should need is the one that God is running in heaven. If He wants it, it will happen, and only when I can handle it. In the meantime, grow. Let Him teach me. Let Him mold my life and be willing to do what I do in obscurity. (In fact, should I even keep this blog going?)
The other thing that hit me about this chapter is how selfless love is. Patient, kind, not envious, not self seeking, not proud, not rude, not easily provoked, does not think the worse, rejoices in truth not evil, bears, believes, hopes, endures all things. I know that when I am loving, this stuff happens. But when I am concerned about me I am not patient, or kind. I can get testy. I don't think positively about people. I know that we talk about this stuff as a group of leaders at church. The question we constantly ask ourselves is: "Is that attitude loving? Does it think the best or the worst?" We have to love. We have to exemplify love. We have to live love. When we do, it will come out in how we respond to others and our response will always be selfless.
I have a long way to go.