Saturday, February 17, 2007

Being the Church...

We must be patient. We cannot weary of people and their inconsistencies.

Without complaining we must wait for them to become all that they can become.

Love is thoughtful. We must be kind, tenderhearted, and always gently compassionate with people's hearts.

The people in our lives are not objects to be possessed or manipulated. We have no desire to tether them to the mundane or the mediocre. We should enjoy seeing them fly in their faith.

Love is not arrogant and full of oneself. Our call to love means to pour ourselves out in service to those in our care.

We are never rude or self-seeking. In love we listen to their thoughts, but see their hearts. We do not demand cooperation or even love in return. We will walk side by side in friendship.

Love is not easily angered. Even though someone may be thoughtless, we must choose not to keep a list by which to condemn him/her. We cannot say, "Told you so," or hold their failures over their heads.

As ambassadors of Jesus, we value truth and we will celebrate when our friends and family walk in what they know to be that truth.

Love always protects. There are times those we care for will be vulnerable, and we must be a place they can run. In the raging storms of life we must be a calm safe harbor.

We must be people of trust. Even when our loved ones are questioning themselves, we must stand by them and believe in their integrity. They will sense our trust and live up to it.

Love always hopes for the best. We should anticipate great things from others and expect them to happen. We will hope for their true joy, a peace beyond understanding, love undying. We will hope for all good things for those we love.

We must always persevere. Even when people do not show up, or tend to complain, or choose to be self centered, we must stay the course, walk the extra mile, and stand by them when everyone else turns and walks away.

Love never fails. When every worldly philosophy is disfigured by flaws, and grand governments have collapsed, and churches dissolved, and friends, smocked in human frailties, have disappointed us, we must rely on a God, on a Father, who never fails.

After all is said and done, our greatest accomplishments matter little if we have not loved. For love is the most important thing.


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