What Can I Give?
I went into therapy this week and I noticed a profoundly simple list of ways to love posted on my counsellor's bulletin board.
Listen, without interrupting | Speak, without accusing | Give, without sparing | Pray, without ceasing | Answer, without arguing | Share, without pretending | Enjoy, without complaint | Trust, without wavering | Forgive, without punishing | Promise, without forgetting
I compared this list with a widely known bible verse (1 Cor 13: 4-7), and I found much overlap.
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.
There is no grey area in loving. I cannot be patient and continuously interrupt someone as they speak. I cannot honor others while accusing them. I cannot give generously, if I am the most important person in the world. I cannot pray without cease if I depend on my own strength. I cannot answer without arguing, if I am easily angered. I cannot share without pretending unless I am living in truth. I cannot enjoy, without complaining, while being envious. I cannot trust without wavering if I have no hope. I cannot forgive, without punishing and also keep a record of wrongs. I cannot promise without forgetting unless I am persistent in loving. It’s always one or the other. I choose Love or I don’t.
Some of us we will be giving gifts within the next few days, so I thought it’d be helpful for us to not forget the gift that really matters: love. We have all loved in ways that are less than perfect, because we’re human. But what we did before, doesn’t have to happen again. On a human level, loving can be really difficult to do, and that’s one of the many reasons why we need God. Do not stop asking for His help, He will provide you with the grace to love, even when it seems impossible.