"It" is: forcing me to really see how little I resemble God, and how little I truly LOVE God. As I read through 1 Corinthians 13, it easily becomes a checklist for self-examination:
- Do I focus on speaking well, but lack love?
- Do I have insight, knowledge, and even faith, but lack love?
- Do I give generously & even live radically for God and yet lack love?
- Am I patient and kind towards others, both the easy-to-love and the less-easy-to-love people around me?
- Do I compare myself with others, either envying or boasting?
- Am I arrogant or rude, essentially puffing up myself and/or putting down others?
- Am I convinced that my way is the only right way?
- Do I get easily irritated with others? Am I resentful?
- Am I entertained, excited, or delighted by sin, or by the truth?
- Do I put up with difficulties, or am I weak and whiny when it comes to suffering?
- Do I believe and trust, or am I suspicious?
- Do I hope, or am I shaky, anxious, and uncertain?
- Do I endure (am I reliable?) or do I give in and give up?
Honestly, y'all, these last few weeks have been chock-full of God's gentle, yet firm and in-my-face, showcasing of my failings. He's doing it, I'm confident, to change me. To bring me low so that I won't walk in pride or even come close to thinking that I have it all together. To show me that He loves me enough to keep softening my rough edges. But, as a form of public confession, here are some of the things He's bringing to mind:
- I am, all too often, irritable towards my husband.
- I'm impatient with my children.
- I am unkind in my heart, mind, and words towards others who are different (as seen here at MH this week).
- I care far too much about the perceptions of others... I want to be seen as smart, fun, insightful, and desirable-as-a-friend... not a critical, grumpy know-it-all.
- I think my way is the best way, almost all the time... whether we're talking about editing a brochure or making lasagne or raising kids or folding laundry or whatever.
- Plain and simple: I lack love.
And what I need is love.