I was reading 1 Corinthians 13 today (the ever-popular Love Chapter of the Bible; as if it’s the only chapter that talks about love…) and thinking, “yeah, man, love is pretty great, and I’m certain that it’s the foundation of what I believe in.” And it is. John tells us that God is love twice in 1 John 4 alone. (Obviously, these are not the only instances of such a notion in the Bible.) So I’m reading along and I read how Paul says that if he does all of these good deeds and all but doesn’t have love then he’s like a clanging cymbal etc and how if he has not love he gains nothing and I’m thinking how great these things are and how I’ve got it all together, cos, hey, I act out of love, right?

And then I get to verse 4 where Paul describes what exactly love is. And I’m getting really excited, right, cos, hey, it’s good stuff. And right there off the bat, he says “love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way.” And I started to think about the way that I love God and whether my love for God matches up with these things. After fully recognizing that, no, it does not (particularly in the whole “insisting on its own way” thing), I began to think about my friends and the people around me. This is why I have tagged you for this note.

I realized earlier today that I can be, and usually am, pretty rude. I very rarely listen intently; I’m usually waiting for my turn to talk and tell you just how great the things that I’ve been up to are. I am not at all patient, neither in my conversing or in my friendships in general. I lust and murder in my heart, I forget birthdays, I become so absorbed in myself. And I know that you might be thinking that it’s alright, that you accept me (and thank you for that) but you deserve better. Hell, everyone deserves better.

See, the thing about Christ that I love so much (or at least thought I did) is radical love. I think that most people would agree that it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. But I don’t do it. I don’t even come close. I can’t love, I dunno, one person, much less the entire world. But that’s what we’re called to do, and that’s what the Bible tells us we will be full of if we truly love the LORD. Of course there’s grace, and I know that I love the LORD (and my friends), but my love should and could be so much bigger.

So, I thank you for sitting through all of my crap for the tenure of our friendship. I can’t promise that I’m going to change in the next ________ days/weeks/mos/years, but I do have faith that God will continue to break me of my low love. I love you. I just hope I can love you better.

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