For our next exercise, we are going to get real about love. I recommend doing this “test” on a regular basis.
In the following passage of scripture from 1 Corinthians 13 get personal and check your love meter.
Here’s how: think of the “I”s as literally yourself and starting in verse 4 replace LOVE with your own name (for example: Jessica never gives up. Jessica cares more about others than for herself. Jessica doesn’t want what she doesn’t have…. etc.).
Now here’s the truth you will be tempted to put someone else’s name in all the right spots and if you do that you’ll miss the point of the exercise. This is about you. So remember to pray before you start – it’s always good to lay everything before the throne of God before venturing into scripture.
Get honest. Test yourself in relation to the plumbline – God’s Word. Are you loving extravagantly or half or not at all?
God is really clear about what love is and what it is not. And one of the passages we love to quote shouts His will for us: So I double, no triple dog dare you to take the challenge:
“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere.
So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
4 Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, 5 Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, 6 Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, 7 Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. 8 Love never dies.
Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. 9 We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. 10 But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
11 When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. 12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” [1 Corinthians 13 The whole chapter - The Message version (emphasis is mine)]
How did you do? I’ll be honest ever time I do this I find myself flat on my face before God, seeking His forgiveness and wisdom… have I mentioned how much I prefer this posture?