“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
As we get into the home stretch of the end of February and our month of discussions about love, this benediction-type verse spoke to me. If you’ve been in some of the more traditional churches they always end the service with a blessing to take with you into the week. It’s a bit of encouragement, a bit of reminder and a way to tie the whole service together. Of course, our topic for February, love, should never be closed or summed up, but like life rather than being our entire focus it can be just simmering beneath the surface for the rest of the year and brought up occasionally.
Love is tough. There’s no other way to put it. It’s not easy to be in love with the pressures and challenges of life today. It’s a little easier with the changes in culture to love someone unexpected or atypical, but any relationship has its moments of challenge and frustration.
It’s not easy to be a person of faith either. Not only do spiritual relationships take work, it’s not always easy to keep them up with the pressures and provocation of life today. This is probably one reason that spirituality and love have always been close companions; they’re so similar in many respects.
When it comes to faith, love and life there’s only one thing you can do: keep pressing on. They cannot be made in a single moment, but in collective moments over time. You need to press on, be persistent, be determined and be patient as things grow and develop. You can’t learn all of life and love’s lessons in one bite, but you need to learn each lesson that is sent your way.
The one thing you have to keep in mind at all times is that it’s better to love than to not love. Life and faith are only made stronger with love.