What’s your favorite fruit? Mine’s pomelo, known too as grapefruit.
But for now, make that orange for the point this blog wants to make is about “love”.
Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Notice: “Fruit,” not “fruits”. It’s all or nothing!
Intriguing isn’t it, that love is bundled with eight other traits―just like an orange with its nine segments, a metaphor which graphically explains the wholeness of genuine character.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8 mentions “love” as the trait of all traits: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
“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 hope, always perseveres.
“Love never fails.”
Facebook has become quite a stage for overt declarations of love. Forgive old-fashioned me, but the first thing that comes to mind is, “Really?”
Is she that perfect? Does he indeed complete you? Is your life worthless without him or her?
Would anyone dare write this message? “You’re arrogant, demanding and selfish; I love you anyway; and I’d be willing to take you back even if you make a mess of yourself.”
Someone did, a long time ago. When he hung on the cross, Jesus made it known, “You have fallen so far away from your Creator, but I love you, so I came down from heaven to rescue you and bring you back to the Father.”
The mush and the fluff, the flowers and the chocolates, the lavish dinners and gifts, and flowery FB messages―these are feel-good declarations of love. Nice and sweet.
But don’t mistake the wrapping for the real thing. Because the real deal can also be a deal breaker, if…
The butterfly in your stomach will soon turn acrid. Betrayal, selfishness or jealousy may dent your relationship. Arguments may soon turn ugly. And for the married ones, bills will pile up, career issues may draw you apart, health issues will creep in. But genuine love never gives up.
Love is unconditional. Love forgives. Love embraces. Love cares. Love covers all wrongs. Love persists even if the object of your love has turned unlovable.
And love is willing to start all over again, with the past left behind and never again reviewed.
Impossible? Yes, by my own effort! But with Jesus, everything is possible.