As I’ve been following this narrow path, I’ve found myself constantly looking back at how far I’ve come. Sometimes my pride swells and I think I’ve come so far. Other times I cringe at how close I am to the start.
Frankly, I think both perspectives aren’t balanced.
Because you see, this narrow road means I’m constantly on the fringes of either two extremes, and in this case it’s a matter between pride and low self-esteem.
To look at my life realistically, though, I owe all the good things I’ve done to God, and Jesus has owned all the bad things I’ve done on the cross. So with works out of the way, the only thing that’s left is love.
And that’s at the center of it all. As Paul so wonderfully puts it:
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NLT
That’s such a powerful message, because when love is out of the picture, all the things we do, even the good things we do, are pointless.
And according to 1 John 4:8, God is love, and if we truly love, it means we’re children of God and that we know him. It’s beautiful.
Furthermore, if God is love, then love isn’t an abstract concept anymore. It’s tangible and it’s Jesus. It’s personal.
And it changes the way I see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
Instead of “love is patient and kind,” I can say “Jesus is patient and kind.” Check it out:
Jesus is patient and kind. He is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. He does not demand his own way. He is not irritable, and he keeps no record of being wronged. He does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Jesus never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Isnr that beautiful? And it makes loving others simpler when I see how Jesus loved the way Paul described.
So love is my ultimate goal. Jesus is my goal. I want to be patient and kind while walking this narrow road. I want to live and breathe love wherever I go.
That is what pushes me forward, and hope pulls me from beyond.