I think all the time. It’s a strength and a liability. So it was no surprise that I was thinking about a person at the same time I was reading a letter from Paul.
A little frustration in one part of my thinking, these words in another part: “Love does not dishonor others.”
I stopped reading and starting again from the beginning of the paragraph.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Then I started over in my thoughts of the person and me. Was I being patient? Was I being kind?
Then I jumped to the string of posts and comments I’d read earlier on Twitter and Facebook, things being said and shared by friends. I thought about all my moments of frustration with them. I seldom speak into the many verbal battles, the sharing of opinions that reflect what we want to be true. However, I respond in my head and heart. I may not express my response, but it shapes what I think of them.
It is not love.
Whether it is annoyance, frustration, or outrage, at every turn I am dishonoring others. I am self-seeking. I am keeping records, I am increasingly easily angered.
I could continue to narrow my feed, but that isn’t necessarily love.
I could step away from the feed and reflect on what feeds me.
I can talk with God about the person rather than talking with myself or others about them.
I can offer you and me way more content that is about love.
But I confess. My restraint isn’t love. I’m working on it.