1 Corinthians 13:4-8a "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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 hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
When I read this passage of scripture I often find myself cringing as I realize the many ways that I fail when it comes to loving the way the Lord intended. I have heard it said that in place of the word 'love' you should substitute your own name. "Elizabeth is patient, Elizabeth is kind. Elizabeth does not envy..." When we personalize the scripture it is perhaps easier to notice the areas where we fall short.
If you have ever been around a toddler, you probably heard the phrase, "Mine!" They can be very demanding. Sometimes as grownups we haven't outgrown that toddler stage. We just perhaps word things a little differently. "You need to do such and such...." "That won't work for my schedule..." Perhaps you make demands of your husband and children and expect them to comply with your wishes. Do you resemble the adage, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy?" Are there times when you need to remind yourself, "It's not all about me."
As we edge closer and closer to Christmas it is easy to get wrapped up in the things that we want, instead of focusing on why we celebrate. You may find yourself slipping into self preservation mode as many things and people make demands on your time and schedule. It is easy to get caught up in the situation.
I challenge you this Christmas to let go of your demands. Be open to situations where God wants to use you to point others to Him. Will they see Jesus in your eyes even in the midst of a stressful trial? Will they hear Jesus' love shining through as you choose to turn the other cheek? Will they see patience as you handle an awkward or unforeseen situation with ease? How can you make a point of sharing Jesus' love this Christmas?
Make a point of not demanding your own way over the next few weeks. See how you can reach out and be a servant.
Help me Lord to be undemanding in the things I face over the next few weeks. May others see You in my life. Amen.