Failure to Love by Elaine Davenport (Monday, June 25, 2007)
My ministry had been teaching a lot about Love. We had spent a lot of time in 1Corinthians 13 where it talks about Love. I had the most unusual experience not too long after that. It gave me an opportunity to put the teaching into practice; not by teaching someone else but by learning through visualization.
* Sometimes it is hard to love people; especially when they don’t want to love back, but we have to do it.
I was invited to a wonderful gathering. When I arrived; I was immediately notified that I would be the speaker. I’m sorry, I admit that it caught me off guard, only because writing is my comfort zone and I try to stay in that zone. However, I went to a quiet place to pray to find out what I would speak about. In my heart, there was an overwhelming need which came upon me to speak on Love; with an emphasis on First Corinthians Chapter Thirteen.
I was sure of it and prepared my speech. On the surface, I couldn’t “see” where it was necessary but I gave it anyway. Then something phenomenal happened. Four more people who were also men and women of God whom I did not know spoke. Every single person spoke on Love. I believe that each one of us was called to minister on the message of Love for such a time as that.
Failure to Love can result in a great deal of pain. More explicitly; the denial that such a problem exists as we self examine can ultimately cause great pain.
When a small child sees fire for the first time; the parent may look at the child, point to the fire and say don’t touch, fire burns.
This message is just that serious.
I HAVE A FRIEND
I have a friend who had a very close relationship with her daughter. They had been through many ups and downs. My friend has a rather strong personality; but she is a great person. By and by the daughter met and married a great guy who had children that he was raising. To many people, they are a perfect couple, but not to her mother. Over time, the mother and the son-in -law became distant only communicating through the daughter; if at all. There were several incidents of drama between them. My friend received the Love message; but she did not hear it. My friend has experienced great anguish and pain from this experience. When I asked my friend about loving her son in law; she brushed it off and made a remark about what the son in law had done to her. Two years later, my friend was in worse pain over the situation because things had gone from bad to worse and her daughter no longer visits.
In First Corinthians 13 it says:
1 Corinthians 13
If [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such [a]as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have prophetic powers ([b]the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody).
Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or [c] in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing.
Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy ([d]the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].
For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect).
But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded).
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.
For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as [e]in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand [f]fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been [g]fully and clearly known and understood [[h]by God].
And so faith, hope, love abide [faith--conviction and belief respecting man's relation to God and divine things; hope--joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love--true affection for God and man, growing out of God's love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.
LET’S TALK ABOUT HEARING
We can’t be deaf to the Word of God and we can’t afford to be in denial. The cost of the ticket is way too much and we don’t have time. I didn’t say “you”, I said “we.”