“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
My husband is currently attending Duke Divinity School and with that I get the opportunity to join their spouse group. This group has been an amazing support during my year over here. At our meeting last night one of the women mentioned a challenge linked to this passage. The challenge is this:
On day one of the challenge you are patient for the full day, if at any point you are impatient you need to start again; then on day two you need to be kind all day, however if you fail you need to go back to the start (as in back to day one); you follow all the things love is in this passage until you reach the end.
To me this sounded like a great but extremely difficult challenge to try out as it is only with practice can we be all of these things. For me the most demanding one is probably patience and therefore right away I would struggle with this challenge but this would be invaluable way to strengthen your spiritual and to some extent your mental health.
Today I wanted to also look at this passage in slightly a different way. I wanted to focus on loving your health and what that might look like.
Love is patient. As I have already said patience is not something that comes easily to me and this is true with health. To love your health you need to be patient with it. Goals take time to reach, so we need to be learn to be patient to get there.
Love is kind. To love your health is extremely important and being kind to yourself is essential to ensure that you are mentally, physically and spiritually healthy. Being kind is not easy a lot of the time as we like to self-doubt and self-guilt ourselves. Just like being patient we need to realise that we are beautiful and unique.
Love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. When we spend time focusing on what other people achieve and being envious or boastful we are not truly focusing on where we are at. Being envious, boastful, rude and arrogant can only hurt ourselves and to continue to improve our whole health we need to throw these emotions out. I know this can be hard as we think comments and judge people more often than we would care to admit but it is vital that we continue to try.
Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. Are you truly loving your health if you are about to eat your third bar of chocolate (do not get me wrong I have done this)? Be honest with yourself on where your health is failing should it be physically, mentally, spiritually or a combination of them all because if you see the truth you can change. There is no rejoicing in being blind to the areas that need to change and do not be afraid to ask for guidance and help to see the truth. It is sometimes easier to lie to ourselves than to the ones we love.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. We can achieve anything we set out to achieve, the only person standing in our way is ourselves. So let your love dream big for your health. Achieve the possible and the impossible. Endure the difficult times and hope for tomorrow. Life has its ups and downs and so will your health but believe and try to be better.
Love never ends. Health ends. We may not like to think about it but it does. Death. But what is stopping us from trying to be the healthiest we can be everyday until that day comes? When our bodies fail let us hope that out mental and spiritual health can carry us through. When our minds fail let us hope that we have the physical and spiritual health to guide us. When our spirit fails lets hope that the strength of our mental and physical health can pull us through. And should it all fail lets hope someone is with us to be the physical, mental and spiritual health we need.