Love is…

Love is…

I recently asked God what areas of my life I specifically need to work on and instead of dumping all the “fine tunings” that my imperfect self needs, He led me to the 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NASB

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Me reading: “Love is patient—”

God: “Stop right there. I want you to break-down this passage and focus on one aspect of love each day. Today, look at your personality towards others. Is there an area that you are lacking patience? Maybe it is with someone who has a trying personality or maybe it is yourself—maybe you need to give yourself time to grow and continue to transform to whom I’ve called you to be.”

Patient: bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
: not hasty or impetuous
: steadfast despite opposition, difficulty or adversity

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to read through 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and am going to break-down and meditate on each part of what love truly is and should be. Follow along on my Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/onthecliffoflife/

Side Note:

This last weekend, I read these verses with someone I know, and they stated, “In all my life, I have NEVER met a person who has succeeded at all of these testaments of love.”

My response: “Maybe it was meant for us to meditate on before we speak or respond, so that our words would be spoken through the filter of love. Maybe it is something for us to strive for—a goal.”

Their response: “I like the verse, ‘Cease striving and know that I am God.’ So, we shouldn’t be ‘striving.’” (Psalm 46:10 NASB)

My response: “I do believe that we are not to strive to a point of self-condemnation or guilt, but shouldn’t we try to be better than who we were yesterday?” (If God didn’t believe in change, then He wouldn’t have sent His Son to die for us, in the hope that we all would one day come to know Him and be transformed in the forgiveness that He so willingly gives)

Their response: “That is true and a different version of the Bible—the Amplified—translates Psalm 46:10 to ‘Be still and know that I am God.’

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I find it interesting that “strive” has two definitions…

  1. Strive: to devote serious effort or energy; endeavor
  2. Strive: to struggle in opposition; contend

So, the “striving” in Psalm 46:10 is most likely to struggle in opposition. “Cease struggling and know that I am God” or “Cease contending and know that I am God.”

The amplified version says to “be still” and I just had to break-down that word as well.

  • Still: calm, tranquil

“Be calm and know that I am God.”

It is amazing to dive more into the definitions of what we once imagined the true meaning of a word or verse. Where I was considering that we should strive to be better, as in, “devoting serious effort or endeavoring,” the person I was conversing with considered that Psalm 46:10 meant the same thing—which endeavoring and contending are opposite in meaning. #HearIGoAgain

  • Endeavor
    • to work with set purpose
    • to attempt (something, such as the fulfillment of an obligation) by exertion of effort
  • Contend
    • to strive in debate: argue
    • struggle

 

Sources: Word definitions from Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, Bible verses from NASB & AMP

Bitter or Better?

Bitter or Better?

There once were two girls who walked down a tree-laden path. One day, a couple bullies were hiding in some fruit trees, waiting for the girls to come near.

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The mean kids threw the freshly-picked oranges at the girls’ heads. Sadly, their aim was true, causing the girls to fall backwards at the fruit-flavored impact. Bruised and battered with a few scrapes here and there, Girl #1 bent down to help up Girl #2. They then grabbed the fruity weapons, but alas the bullies had already come and gone.

 Talk about a “hit and run.”

Girl #1 brushed off the fruit and began peeling it. “At least we got something positive out of the dastardly thing that happened to us.”

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Girl #2 did not respond but the scowl on her face was evidence of her anger. She too brushed off her orange, but instead of eating the fruit, she partook of the peel. Bitterness filled her mouth…her whole being. All she could see was the peel, causing the sweet/positive fruit to become discarded.

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Girl #1 was ready to move on due to not holding onto the bitterness; however, Girl #2 began to see the world in the most pessimistic way…just waiting for someone to throw something at her again. Because of her suspiciousness, she drove the possibility of more friendships away. She even turned against Girl #1, taking out her past frustrations on her…

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Girl #2 couldn’t fathom how her friend could be so happy after being so hurt. One day she asked her, “Why do you continuously seem to be happy after each bully threatens to steal your joy away?”

Girl #1 smiled, and responded with, “Remember when you and I were hit with oranges?” seeing her friend nod she continued, “Well, if you recall, I ate of the fruit. It was sweet and reminded me that there will always be a positive found within a negative circumstance. Sometimes you have to look deep for it (like past the peel of the orange) and it will be there.”

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Girl #2 wanted the happiness so much, that she gave up her eating of the bitter peel and dove deeper into what could fill her true hunger in life. She began to partake of the sweetness in life. It took some time, but the bitterness went away as she became full on the fruit’s happiness.

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In conclusion, we all have the choice to be Girl #1 or Girl #2…which part of the fruit will you eat?

Artichoke Poem

Artichoke Poem

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Image by: Jessica Yee

Artichoke

by: Nicole K.

I once was an artichoke, keeping my petals tight and firm
But then the heat of the day made my green shield waver and squirm
Thankfully the Gardner came to my aid
Watering my roots as I began to fade
Then something happened I did not expect
The Gardner picked me from my bush and I began to fret
My prickly petals were trimmed of their spikes
And I was put into boiling water…losing my strength; my might
I fought as hard as I could but the hot water surrounded me
Causing my petals and heart to become tender as I thought they would never be
I was plucked from the heat, exhausted and weak
Too tired to put up a fight…my future looked very bleak
The Gardner then pulled my petals away
Leaving my heart for all to see on display
Now, I understand what it means to let my petals go
And have a tender heart for everyone to see and everyone to know
It took being refined by heat
And the Garndner’s hands that trimmed me so neat
Yes, there are times when I yearn for my petals to be near
But with my Gardner by my side, I have nothing to fear