About two weeks ago I finally organized my shoes. The several-years old shoe rack behind my bedroom door and two on my closet floor had been overtaxed with the weight of shoes and little boys testing their strength and finding a new hiding space. But, of course, as I moved the racks to organize the shoes, I had to clean the entire closet by dusting, sweeping and discarding shoes, purses and other items that no longer suited my needs. As I threw out the old I was clearly able to see what I was in need of and developed my list of and action plan to obtain what I lacked. My broken shoe racks caused me to take inventory, not just of my shoes but of other items in my closet. The broken racks helped me see the obvious and hidden issues in my closet. The same should happen in our love life, not just with romantic partners but with everyone, for we are called to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). We need to focus on fixing the broken, those places where we are having a hard time loving others, and see if there are other, hidden, areas of brokenness that we need to address so we are equipped to love others as we are called to do.
For almost a year I have given you specific challenges to love others in a radical way. Today I want to challenge you to take inventory of how you love others. We are more effective in loving others when we examine how well we are doing and what we need to do to change. This week’s challenge has us looking at ourselves through the lens of 1 Corinthians 13 with an assignment my husband and I frequently give married couples that we counsel. But because the wisdom of this passage transcends marriage, this challenge is for everyone.
Take a Risk Challenge: 1) Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 and note every word that describes what love is; 2) Look up each word in a Bible concordance to ensure you have the original meaning of the word; 3) Once you have the meanings, ask yourself how well you are loving others according to each love attribute; and 4) Pray that the Lord will show you, if you don’t already know, a) your areas of brokenness that prevent you from loving others as you should and b) how to love others according to 1 Corinthians 13. We will deal with more of this challenge in upcoming Take a Risk Challenge blog posts. Until then, take inventory to equip yourself to be able to consistently love others in a radical way.
My One Thousand Gifts List
My husband’s love
Bible study on Multiply by Francis Chan
A visit with Nichole
Nichole’s spicy tortilla soup
Praise in the car before church
My 3 year old reminding me to pray before we drove to church
A faithful, personal God, Jesus, my Savior and Lord