Friday, December 21, 2007

Love is as Love does

I'm back from the greater Baltimore area where I spoke this week and met some new sisters-in-Christ at Mid Atlantic Community Church. The event went quite well and I enjoyed my time with them. My thanks to the women's ministry committee, the audio-video specialists, and most of all to Christ for giving us a reason to gather and celebrate.

I want to share with you a paraphrase of 1st Corinthians that reminds me where to keep my focus as I prepare for the upcoming holidays. Both of my children have birthdays the same week as Christmas, so I can easily get caught up in doing shopping, decorating, wrapping and entertaining. God's word pulls me back to what's real and eternal.

(a paraphrase)

If I decorate my house with poinsettias, bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny ornaments, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing a Christmas ham, arranging beautiful table centerpieces, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I volunteer at the soup kitchen, go caroling at the nursing home, and drop money in the Salvation Army bucket, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I set out the nativity, attend a bunch of holiday parties, and sing in the holiday cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have completely missed the point.

Love stops the cooking, cleaning or wrapping to hug the child.
Love pauses the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, even when busy or tired.
Love doesn't envy another woman's Christmas china.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but thanks God for them. Love doesn't give only to those who can return the favor, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love always wins.

MP3 players will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust ... but giving the gift of love will endure for all eternity.

In other words, you can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

I pray today that you and I remember to love amidst all the things we do!


  1. Amen, sista! What a great reminder all year long, not just during Christmas!

  2. That is precious and so true and applicable! Thanks for sharing.
    Merry Christmas.

  3. Rachel,
    Thank you so much for that very insightful interpretation! I have been visiting all of the precious P31 blogs this holiday season and have been so blessed by your sweet words! Thank you, Dear!
    Laura B.

  4. I really have been encouraged and uplifted by the Proverbs 31 team and daily devotionals. I love to read them and am challenged by the applications. But after reading your Rewrite of 1 Corinthians, I was moved to write in a "blog" finally. This is so creative and inspiring. It is practical, precious, powerfully true and very applicable(or should be how we live out the Word). Not just learners but DO-ers, where pray and
    ACTS become one. Thank you for your style and uplifting writings to draw us closer to Our Lord and
    truly enter in to the Reason for this season and daily all year. God bless you and yours as you continue to bless us along with Proverbs 31
    team! Peggy from MN in Mazatlan, MX
    I get my devotionals @ yahoo email.

  5. Thank you for lighting my way. I needed that today.

  6. Rachel,

    Thanks for this! I came back to re-read it today, after a Christmas season that went by too fast. I've printed it out to put in my holiday journal to remind me to focus on the essentials next year.

    I love coming to your blog - there's always some refreshment and insight for me. I appreciate your ministry!



  7. I'm so glad to know this was as helpful to some of you as it was to me.

    You probably know from my earlier posts that I like to paraphrase passages of scripture as a quiet time exercise. But I can't take all the credit for this one.

    My friend Sharon Jaynes did a christmas paraphrase of 1 Cor. 13 in her book Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas. This isn't her version, but she inspired me to do one too this year.

    I thank God for inspiring friends - that includes you!


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