Wrong Places

wrong places

Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Read:Esther 8:1 – 10:3, 1 Corinthians 12:27 – 13:13, Psalm 37:1-11, Proverbs 21:23-24

Relate: I am not really a fan of spoof movies. Strike that. Let me say it a different way. I am really not a fan of spoof movies. Spaceballs is possibly the only exception to that. I didn’t care for Scary Movie. I didn’t watch all its sequels, and I have avoided like the plague anything AP (Austin Powers/American Pie). I have also managed to avoid Not Another Teen Movie, Epic Movie, and Shaun of the Dead and I wish I was as discerning in my younger years so that I could have avoided Airplane, Hot Shots, and Robin Hood: Men In Tights.

That said, I have to confess that I recently did watch Barely Lethal. I think I might have been feeling the need to torture myself a bit. Perhaps I was wondering how you could spoof a movie that was so bad it could almost be considered a spoof itself (Kingsman). Whatever the reason, I apparently wasn’t tired enough to escape my boredom by retreating into the world of dreams. The movie had nothing to offer. I think both Samuel Jackson and Jessica Alba should fire their managers for their negligence in landing this role.

All vitriol aside, I was actually shocked that when I was reading through 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, that it was the “love triangle” in this movie that I started thinking of. You have the lead actress liking the lovable geek but crushing on the handsome rock star. The rock star likes her but not nearly as much as he loves himself. The dorky geek… well, the way he acts toward her could probably come as close to defining love Biblical style as Hollywood will ever get. He is generous, he’s kind. He puts her first. He treats her with the same respect during both her low (dorky outsider) and high (viral youtube hero) moments.

React: Obviously, being a cheesy cliche’ movie, the heroine figures out before the end who she really should be with. If only we were as smart in real life. Not only are we all too often looking for love in all the wrong places, we are also all too often acting out love in all the wrong ways. If you’re single but dating, put that boyfriend or girlfriend’s name on the line. Is he patient and kind? Is she jealous, boastful, proud and rude? Does he always demand his own way? Is she always irritable and pulling out all the mistakes you have made during every single argument? Obviously we will all fall short, but is that person even trying to live up to God’s standard of love? If not, they aren’t the one. Don’t waste your time. Get out of the relationship and run very fast in the opposite direction.

For all of us, but especially those in a married committed relationship, now put our own name on the line. Do I grieve for injustice while rejoicing in the truth? Do I easily give up and easily lose faith or am I always hopeful and willing to stick it out to the end? Basically, how loving am I? Knowing that we all fall short, how loving am I trying to be? It is a popular thing these days to say “You can’t truly love others until you learn to love yourself.” I say that’s garbage. The author of that lie is trying one more way to get people find love in the wrong place. If you want truth, flip it. “If you are unable to love others, you will never be able to love yourself.” Once we learn to truly show a Biblical love for the world around us, we will be living a lifestyle that is worth loving.

Respond: 

God, You have made us to love. We are not complete unless we are loving and being loved in return. But all too often, we are confusing desire with love. We are trying to find fulfillment in the wrong ways and from the wrong people. Help me to understand that it is only in You and through You that I can learn what love truly is. As I fall deeper in love with You and grasp more and more how Your love for me is, let that love spill out of me and on to everyone I meet. Help me to live love.

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18 thoughts on “Wrong Places

  1. Thank you Beejai. I enjoyed reading your post. We chose your verse from Corinthians for our wedding. You are right in many of your arguments but as you say in your “About” it’s step by step and sometimes we skip a step or take one backwards. Always work in progress:-)

  2. Interesting. I don’t think it’s as black and white about living others first and the loving yourself. I recently preached about the loving yourself first thing. It’s not that you have to be Narcissus, but that we are filters of God’s love. So if it gets stuck at us, because we feel unlovable and therefore can’t properly accept the idea of being loved the way God loves us; then how can we show it to others?
    You don’t pay for something that has no value.. You need to have a personal grasp of something before expressing its value.

    Having said that; the point about making a life worth loving is interesting. I totally get that. So maybe it’s neither as black or white as either of those statements. We need to be able to allow God to love us both in head and heart.. But we are all on a continuum for that. Sometimes it’s a real battle to break through even after you’re saved. Especially if all your life love has looked so different and habits and behaviours have been drastically the opposite to who God calls you to be transformed into.
    But as we begin to allow that love to permeate us, it changes out outlook and attitude to people. So then we love others, which starts to build that life which is more lovable. So you can filter gods love more clearly, so you love others more clearly. Etc etc. it’s all working progress; we’re all a working progress. But it’s the knowledge of God’s love that changes us.

  3. Great post as always, thank you. Combining the comment from “nicolalillie3”, my own thoughts and yours:
    “If you want truth, flip it. “If you are unable to love others, you will never be able to love yourself.””
    Chicken and egg – or egg and chicken?

    It’s posts like these that make me think. And that is what gets the movement moving!
    Which way is best?

    Either if it works for you and Him.

  4. Of course, I can’t help but think that if we truly love and are focused on God FIRST, the order of the others becomes a moot point, for all of our ability to love comes from Him.

  5. Well said Tony. Man can only, we can only truly love our fellow man empowered by the love of God!

    “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-16

    And we can only love God empowered by God.

    “We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19.

    Loving God more exclusively must always be our focus.

    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” – Luke 10:27

  6. Wow, this really stood out to me today. I love your posts, this one especially. You really made me think a lot about my life, and how some things need to change which is good. God bless

  7. Dude – Hot Shots, Naked Gun and Airplane are classics. Scary Movie is like something the dog threw up that you don’t even want to look it. It doesn’t even belong on the same sentence as the the others.

    • Obviously, you also saw them when you were younger and less discerning. Now you love them because of the memories they evoke, certainly not for any cinematic quality they do not possess.

      • I watch them pretty much every year. Along with Casablanca, and other awesome films that I love. You sound a bit snobby with that condescending answer.
        Naked Gun has good writing for what it ism and Leslie Nielsen is excellent as the “straight man”, those movies would never worked with someone else in the role.

        Next you will tell me that Life of Brian, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Blazing Saddles are no good either!

        • Monty Python is on the short list of greatest movies ever. Sorry if I sounded condescending. On things of little value, like sports and entertainment, I tend to be dogmatic. Its more fun to stir the pot that way.

        • No skin off my nose man.

          I get all uppity about cinema too, because I feel passionate about the things I am into, whether it is Rashomon, Night of the Living Dead, a Herzog film, a Bogart movie or total Z grade trash like the Toxic Avenger, they are all fun on their own merits.

  8. I still firmly believe that people tend to treat others how they think of themselves. Miserable people bring misery to others. It’s only when you accept your shortcomings that you are able to see and understand them in others.

  9. Here is my two cents on your essay.
    Once anyone learns what it means to love our Father/Creator above all things–the first most important command, the second most important command ‘love your neighbor as you love yourself’ falls into place automatically!
    That’s what the Spirit of our Father has imprinted within me in the course of almost 30 yrs. Don’t wait that long, sit still now and let our Father imprint that 1st commanded within your being! (No preaching! Only meant as a joyful testimony!) 🙂
    His love in my heart for all! thia/Basilia

  10. Really related to your words and loved the concept of ‘flipping’ love to include either the name of your loved one or your own – just to see how we actually measure up. Thanks for sharing and keeping us grounded 🙂

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