In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul says that there is only one stat that ultimately matters in your walk with God - one thing that that truly tells the world who you are, and that is your love (or lack thereof). The real question is, how do I grow in love? What does love look like? What does love do, and what does it not do? What is love?
6. Love Doesn’t Break All The Rules
Have you ever tried to be friends with one of those people who simply doesn’t know how to be? You know what I mean, right? You want to like ‘em… you even do like ‘em, but dang, it’s hard to be around them and really open your life and heart up to them because these people simply don’t know how to be.
I’m one of the pastors of a little church in East Tennessee. Our church meets in this really old building that was a sort of shopping center back in the days of World War II. When we first bought this place, we made a lot of renovation plans that included knocking down some of the walls and building up some new ones, and before we got started, I just so happened to find the original blue-prints of the building that were drawn up before construction took place back in 1943. Finding those plans was so cool, because it told us which walls we could safely remove and which ones were structurally integral to the building. Those blueprints were the key to really understanding how our building worked. They were the conceptual framework that told us how the whole thing held together best. It was like looking at the rules of our building.
Now, what I’m about to tell you is a little book-ish and heady, but hang in there. Lean in and try to wrap your head around this next part, because it’s worth it. You see, in 1 Corinthians 13:5, Paul says that love “is not rude.” The word Paul used that we have translated, ‘rude’ is a word that means inconsiderate or unbecoming. Literally, it’s the word “schematic” with a little “a” in front of it, which negates the whole word. (Like how the word ‘atypical’ means not-typical) Now, the word ‘schematic’ is the same thing as a blue print. It’s the framework of something - a schematic is just the rules or plan that makes it all work together. In other words, Paul is saying that a loving person is someone who falls in line with the schematics of relationships. A person who knows how to love understands how people work together, whereas a person who doesn’t know anything about love is a person who just does whatever they want, whether it fits or not.
I’m sure you’ve known people who say and do things that are so unbelievably unkind that you are shocked to the core by them. I’m sure you’ve seen folks run their mouths without ever thinking about what it is they’re saying and how much damage they might be doing. Not only that, but if you’re anything like me, you’ve been that guy! I know I have… my mind and mouth have broken people’s hearts and spirits a million times and the worst part about it is that sometimes I’ve crushed people without ever realizing what I’d done!
You know, buildings are made up of tons of parts that all have to work together in just the right way for the thing to stand and remain sturdy through decades of weather and wear. The blueprint for the building clearly lays out the intentions of the building’s designer. That schematic tells us exactly how every part should interact for the success of the structure. Paul is simply saying that love means realizing that you’re not the only dang person in the world. You aren’t the only thing holding this society up. Love means realizing that your life is filled with people and we all matter.
In Ephesians chapter 4, Paul says, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
We’re supposed to be the people making every single effort to build each other up and take care of each other. Some people make no effort whatsoever. But that’s not how love acts. Love We’re not the only people in this. Everyone is important. Everyone has a part to play and something to hold up. Love knows I’m not the only person here. Love doesn’t run with scissors in every single relationship. Love plays by the rules.