Love that “sticks”

Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle. Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others. Doesn’t revel when others grovel. Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth. Puts up with anything. Trusts God always. Always looks for the best. Never looks back, but keeps going to the end. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, MSG

I read over the passage before me again. I had read it hundreds of times over the course of a year or more. Had prayed it probably just as many. As I read it, I wasn’t expecting it to tap into the very reason it pulled at my heart.

A sticky note. Yes. A simple yellow post-it. Written on it in kid writing: “Always be kind and work hard on your dreams.”

A sticky note I was never even supposed to have. After all the other notes with inspirational messages were hanging on other doors and walls throughout school, as planned-this one remained on the original door in which it was posted. Right in plain sight as I opened that door. The only one left. How did I miss it? I could bet my life I took them all down.

But, no. There it was. Staring at me. So completely out of character, it seemed. Those words. When others spoken had not been so loving or “kind” at times.

I still have that yellow post-it. No, I didn’t chuck it in the trash, though in all truth-I wanted to. Not believing at the time anything written on it.

But, God is who He is, and not a lot He does or asks us to do makes sense. So, instead of ripping that small piece of paper up and tossing it, I took it off my door, and posted it in my Bible.

I slapped that note on the page where 1 Corinthians 13 was printed. And every day…I prayed.

I prayed that the author of those words would indeed be kind and have all their dreams come true.

But I didn’t stop there. I prayed that same “author” would learn to be kind. Not rude. Would refrain from being irritable. To always speak and seek the truth.

And I prayed I could do the same, so this person would know who Jesus was through me.

To know His “true” love.

See, love isn’t always the romantic version that the movies portray. That isn’t what Paul is referring to in the Love Chapter. While it makes for a great reading at weddings, it isn’t reserved for husbands and wives. We don’t simply desire these things in only our romantic endeavors.

We are called to show unfailing love to all. To all God’s children. And, yes, that even means His “hard to handle” children. Some whose names are written on sticky notes.

Love is freely given. It doesn’t come with strings attached.

Love that “sticks” is an encourager. It speaks kind words, wise words, and doesn’t seek to tear down with harsh words.

Love is forgiving. Seeking to always reconcile with others, restore relationships, and not keep bringing up past hurts and mistakes.

Love sacrifices. Even if it’s scary. Even if it’s hard. Even if everyone else is bound and determined to do something different. It doesn’t think of self and reputation, but instead thinks about what is best, good, and true for others.

No. You don’t have to be in a romantic relationship to desire a love that sticks around.

Nor do you have to be in one to show it.

We are all called to love whoever God places in our path, or whomever He places on us His burden.

So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. 1 Corinthians 13:3

I don’t know what post-it note you need to stick in your Bible. But someone out there is bankrupt because they don’t know His unfailing love. Love them today. Love them until one day it finally “sticks.”

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