I work in retail, and as a result there are always lots of stories to tell about the people I encounter. Tonight, a man came in with his two year-old son to return a defective item. This should have been an easy return, but unfortunately there were some problems, and it was wrapped up in no less than 30 minutes. I could tell that he was frustrated, and knowing that I was doing everything possible, I apologized a few times. Near the end of it all, he asked me if I was a Christian. I nodded and smiled, and replied that yes I am. He eventually went home satisfied with his new purchases and a free coke and I went on my way.
What struck me later is the real story here...When he asked me if I was a Christian, I first wondered if he was trying to finesse or sneak something past me. I immediately assumed he was going to try and use that against me somehow. Maybe I was right, maybe I wasn't. Regardless, I was convicted about it.
I wondered if I was really too quick to assume things, or if it hadn't gone his way if he'd tried something. But really I wondered what my response would've been, had he tried. Was it weakness that made me assume the worst, or is this world so fallen, that even the most perfect love can be used in the wrong way?
In it all, I realize that, no matter what...I am called to love. If that is how the Lord will grow and shape me today, then so be it. Today, God reminded me of the following...
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy,
it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, 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. (1 Cor 8)
We know that God is love, and his name can replace "Love" throughout that familiar passage, but did I let Him live through me in a way today that it could have been my name? Was I patient and kind, not envious or proud? I don't think love trusted today. As simple as it all sounds, it seems the closer I get to Him, the more He challenges me.
I pray that for today and the rest of our tomorrows, we can go out and simply love...and be loved by Him. Let the simplicity of that sink in until it becomes so deep, and so rich, and so wonderful that there's nothing else that matters. I pray that God just blows you away by how much he cares for you. Be blessed!!