Put on Love and the Heat Will Cool
Posted on 10.17.2012
For the past two weeks, I have found myself on the verge of tears at the end of our pastors’ teaching on Sundays. This “teary” state of mine has been because the pastoral staff has been teaching on the subject of spiritual gifts and love. That “love thing” gets to me every time! Love is what we need the most. For, love can transform us like nothing else can.
Almost 25 years ago, a man who attended our wedding said to us on our wedding video, “Put on love first, and it will get you through anything.” I am certain his advice has kept me out of trouble over the years. How? When I have been in the middle of heated discussions with my husband, I am reminded that when I “put on love,” the heat would “cool.” At times when I have been tempted to say something unkind to my husband (which could likely ignite more vigorous discussion), I put on love. Thankfully, it would save us from something that could get blown out of proportion because of me. As a physician, I occasionally have a difficult or unpleasant patient to see. In these situations, I pray before entering the room, asking God to help me to “put on love.” Once I “put on love,” my compassion for my patient is ignited. I am then able to care for the patient with empathy and excellence! God is love and His Holy Spirit fills me to love in difficult moments.
Love, or even “putting on love” will break down barriers, soften hearts and open ears. Love will cause someone to forgive and have an open mind for forgiveness. Love can actually turn a hating man or woman into a loving man or woman.
The teaching we are receiving on spiritual gifts is basically saying that it matters not what great gift we may have—if we do not have love, it means nothing. In 1 Corinthians 13, it even says that we can give our bodies to be burned, but if we do not have love, it means nothing. You mean actually burning one’s body is not tantamount or greater than love? No. It is not. Growing up in the church I have seen up close many people with great gifts be some of the meanest people I have ever met! Many of us may have even known preachers or ministers—male or female—who are not nice to people and seem not to genuinely love and care about people in general. As a follower of Christ, I do not want to be that one who values spiritual gifts more than loving others.
I pray that I will continue to focus on love. I am reminded of the song that went like this: “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s much too little of.” I agree. However, we do not need just any kind of love, but God’s love. Let us “put it on” at all times, because His Love will really get you and me through anything:
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:12-14).