Monday, April 2, 2012

Faith, Hope, Love

Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor. 13:13

It’s easy to lose faith in people. Not one of us is perfect and all of us are sinners. We do and say things we regret, and others hurt us by doing the same. Apologies given or not, those wounds don’t always heal and with each cut we begin to devalue our loved ones more and more. I’ve personally had a lot of opportunity to give grace lately, but deep down I’m starting to wonder what ever happened to a thing called reliability. Responsibility. Courtesy. Self-control. Consideration.

I’ll be the first person to admit that I’ve said and done things that have hurt others, but I’d like to think all of it was unintentional. I do have a conscience and the thought of someone being in pain because of me is hard to swallow. I’ve offered apologies for things I’ve never done just to ease the hurt of the people I care about, and I’d do it again if needed.

But what I really want to talk about here is the type of behavior that is reckless, intentional, damaging -- done without a conscious regard for the feelings of others or the consequences of their actions. Maybe I misread or misunderstand people, but lately I’ve noticed that so many of us have just begun to stop caring. I think technology has made it worse. Hide behind a computer screen and you can rip a person to shreds without regard for their feelings because you can’t see the hurt on their face or the tears in their eyes. Hide behind a cell phone and you can tell a straight-faced lie because a text is a text.

Unfortunately, I’m one of the few people who can sense those lies, who picks up on the selfish disregard for others. Most of the time I’m good about letting it slide like water off a duck’s back, but lately it really has been bothering me. Partly because I know I deserve the respect and courtesy and consideration from others, but also because I see humanity failing one another. We wonder why there is a great divide in the country and then we turn around and act two-faced to people we love the most. Forget change in politics, what we need is a change within ourselves.

The Bible tells us that faith will remain forever… and out of faith springs hope and out of hope, love.

I’ve been trying to offer grace and mercy when others let me down, but maybe I should be proclaiming my faith in them instead. We should not have faith just in our God, but in each other. Faith that people can change, can turn from evil things, cease their hurtful actions, feel conviction over their thoughtless words. This will not just create peace within society, but also within our own homes.

Put this faith in your significant other (and, or your kids!) when you feel you have been let down. Lean on the hope that the good always outweighs the bad and forget not that every negative moment is such a small part of an overall loving relationship and in the end means nothing. When you begin acting from the place that faith and hope reside, you will find that you act out of love. You will create love, emanate love, spread love. The greatest of all things is love and God’s word tells us exactly how to find it. Once you do, those little nuances about others that make you want to lose faith in them… they melt away as grace appears and hope blooms. Love. It’s really the answer to everything.

Begin having faith, begin hoping, begin loving.

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