Daily Archives: November 20, 2010

It’s not about a check list

I John 4: 16b-17

God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  In this way, love is made complete among us, so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.  NIV

Whoever lives in love.

That’s a powerful image.

Especially when you link it to I Corinthians 13: 4-8, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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.” NIV

For decades, I have recognized that Paul’s description of love is all about actions … being patient, showing kindness, being content with what you have, not calling attention to yourself, etc.

I confess however, that I saw those as discrete actions … almost like a to do list.  “I must be more patient!”  frequently tops that list.

But John calls us to live in love. “God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s.” MSG

Taking up permanent residence in a life of love is the difference between a check list, “Be more patient,” and a life view … living in patience.

I want love to have the run of my house, I want it to become at home and mature in me.

I’ll have to think about that today.


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Filed under I John, New Testament, Worry