Written by Guest Blogger, Jimmy Humphries:
Right now, we are in the days of insecurity which are affecting this nation’s unity and the unity of its people. No matter what side of politics you are on, what race or religion, (frankly the list can and does go on); there is a spirit of “us versus them”. This is not a good thing. This hurtful view separates us from one another and limits us; it limits our nation’s potential to do magnificent things. How can we be a people, a country, a beacon of hope, if we are full of fear and polarized? We cannot be that light on the hill.
This moment you, I, and the people of this wondrous nation are on the edge of either staying together or being divided. The latter is easy to do: keep doing what we are doing, keep passing the virus of fear and insecurity around to others to the point where it spreads everywhere. The nobler choice is unity, and it is a harder one to do. But in the end it is worth it. So where do we start? In my view, we start with love.
In Merriam-Webster’s dictionary (online), one will find several definitions for the word “love.” The following definitions from this dictionary apply in our case:
1 a (1): strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
1 a (3): affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests
If we take what we have learned from these definitions, and look at 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, we will have a bigger picture:
The Way of Love
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – (1 Corinthians 13 1-13 – English Standard Version (ESV)
If anything we do does not have love in it, it is worthless. You may disagree with me and that is ok. Personally, I know doing things with love is a lot more satisfying.
What if we applied 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 to our lives, do you think things and situations would change for the better? I am not saying it is an easy thing to do, especially all at once. It is something that we learn over time. If you believe in God, He will help you if you ask. Because we are human, from time to time we are going to fail to love, and that is OK. It just means we pick ourselves up and start to love people again. Like verse 8 says, “Love never ends.” We keep loving people, even if our love is not returned.
This love is unconditional, with a component of forgiveness. Without forgiveness, love becomes conditional. When it comes in contact with the slightest hurt, conditional love will dissolve. You might wonder why you would want to forgive someone who has done you wrong. By holding a grudge, one might think that they are hurting the offender. In reality the one holding a grudge is the one being hurt. Forgiveness frees you up to love again. We are in this situation in our country where this unconditional love is needed. Unforgiveness separates us and polarizes us more. It will take time for the wounds to heal, but if all sides use unconditional love, it will help bring unity to this country.
We are a nation of immigrants who somehow became a melting pot for so many cultures. This mixing is a blessing for this nation of ours. However, of late, the pot has gotten a little colder. Somewhere along the line, we stopped knowing our neighbors; our families have drifted apart. Instead, we have gone into a journey of our inner self with our electronic companions, which made the embers die down somewhat under the melting pot. The embers need to be rekindled by the fire of love.
In the end, we have to choose either unity or disunity, and act upon that choice. Not only does our choice affect us, but others as well. Choose wisely.
For more information on Guest Blogger Jimmy Humphries, please CLICK HERE to read about him on the Guest Bloggers profile page.