Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)
There is a fascinating episode that happens to every runner in a marathon. It is called “The Runner’s Wall.” No, it’s not a visible wall – though that would be a cool obstacle too. Instead, it is invisible, unseen, and you never know when you will hit it. The Runner’s Wall isn’t an actual physical barrier. Instead, it is a mental one. Their body is tired. It’s getting worn down. The race is over 25 miles long, and their body, at some point, will want to quit on them. The thoughts become overwhelming: Just walk a mile and you’ll be fine. You ran most of the race. Celebrate that fact and go get some ice cream! (Or, something along those lines.) Their thoughts, their mind, their body, is screaming at them to quit. Those that do quit have regret for giving in and not pushing on. Those that don’t quit understand how tough they actually are. That’s why even the person who finishes the marathon dead last celebrates. They not only conquered a ton of miles, they conquered their mind and busted through the wall.
We need to develop that same mental toughness when it comes to loving others. Love shouldn’t be something that we quit on when it becomes hard, when the person we’re trying to show love to is resisting, when they push back and make life difficult. Whether we are a parent, friend, pastor, teacher, or human being, loving others needs to be like a marathon. It’s for the long-haul. Love doesn’t quit when things get hard. Love bears down and pushes through the difficulty because it knows that there are better times ahead.
Our verse today echoes this concept when Paul wrote, “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” Love is a marathon. We are called to give it, even when our mind, our enemy, is screaming at us to stop. Even in the midst of pain and sorrow, we must continue to speak and show love.
Today, and every day, recommit to loving others with a love that never gives up. Dedicate your day to living a life of love which never loses faith. Show others hope by loving them unconditionally. And, when things get tough, let your love for others endure through every circumstance.
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