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… 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Valentine’s Day is upon us. A day, perhaps THE day, to celebrate love. I have been thinking about writing a devotional blog for quite sometime. Now feels like the perfect time. Having a baby sleep through the night on a consistent basis seems to make a world of possibilities open up. Also, with my photography business, I already have a blog set up. Again, now feels like the perfect time. My desire is to write what God is teaching me and perhaps, through that, minister to others. So from time to time, be on the look out for a little bit of my heart, accompanied with a photo, of course. 😉
Back to Valentine’s Day. I imagine there are many who will be sharing blogs about love. Being lumped in with them is fine by me. I don’t think there is such a thing as too much talk about love. This blog will take just a bit of a turn, however.
“Love…is not proud.” I have thought for a long time that the opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is pride. Pride, the thorn in my side. I truly believe that any selfishness, any envy or jealously, any unforgiveness, any sin for that matter has a root of pride. I am not talking about the kind of pride where one is happy for someone close to their heart. I am proud of my loved ones all the time. The pride I am talking about is when we choose our way over God’s way. God says to love our neighbor as ourself. God says to be patient. God says to keep no record of wrongs. God says to be forgiving. God says not to envy. God says not to delight in evil but rejoice with truth. God says not to speak ill of anyone. I could keep going. When our way contradicts God’s way, yet we still go our way, we are victims of pride. Sometimes, we know our way is just bad, yet we still do it. Again, we are victims of pride. I hate that I struggle with pride. I rejoice, as hard and ugly as it is, that God is weeding it out of me. There is so much there that it seems like it is taking an eternity, yet still I rejoice. I want to love like God says is possible. Don’t you? 2 Corinthians 10 tells us that as children of God and by the power of His spirit “we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” This is how we can demolish strongholds. I know I am not alone when I say that pride is a stronghold for me. I want to demolish it! When seeking the Lord on how to help me take my thoughts captive and stop my pride dead in its tracks, He gave me a little acrostic poem that has already helped me in more ways than one. I would like to share it with you in hopes that it may help you take your thoughts captive, too. How can we battle pride? Remember love…
Lift up praises (thank God for what he has done and will do)
Own up to sin (confess your prideful thoughts/actions)
Vanquish lies with truth (speak God’s word over your thoughts: Philippians 2:3, 2 Corinthians 10:17, Proverbs 17:17, James 4:10)
Elevate others (pray for the blessings of others, especially those you envy)
My prayer for all, myself included, during this Valentine’s season and beyond, is to love like God loves. This is a supernatural love. One that cannot be mustered up. There is too much junk in the world for us to bring about this kind of love within ourselves. Let’s fight the battle against pride and allow His spirit to bring us out of darkness and into the light.