Friday, October 21, 2011

Ten Ways to Love

On Facebook the other day, several of my friends posted a list entitled "Ten Ways to Love."  I have put them in a slightly different order, and I have written out the scripture that was included, with an occasional thought of my own.  It is a good reminder of what it means to love, in a very practical and biblical way.

1. Listen without interrupting.  He who answers before listening, this is his folly and his shame (Proverbs 18:13).  Ouch!

2. Speak without accusing.  My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1:19).

3. Answer without arguing.  Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid (Provers 12:1).  Don't justify yourself or make excuses.  Listen for the truth.  It just may be that the one speaking to you is offering you a gift that will help you grow.

4. Trust without wavering.  It [love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:7).

5. Share without pretending.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the head, that is, Christ (Ephesians 4:15).  Be real: live the truth; speak the truth.

6. Give without sparing.  All day long he [the sluggard] craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing (Proverbs 21:26).  If God did not spare his Son on our behalf, we can be generous with others.

7. Promise without forgetting.  Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life (Proverbs 13:12).

8. Forgive without punishing.  Share with each other and forgive whatever grievance you may have against one another (Colossians 3:13).  There's no room for "I forgive you, but..."

9. Enjoy without complaint.  Do everything without complaining or arguing (Philippians 2:14).

10. Pray without ceasing.  Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  Love invites us to hold people up to God in all our thoughts concerning them.

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