This week, in the midst of reading my 17th article about Brett Kavanaugh, the latest nominee to the Supreme Court and the man recently accused of moral transgressions, a passage popped into my mind.
And I needed it.
Maybe it is my lack of political knowledge, but I get dizzy reading my digital paper. What is true? What isn’t? Did he? Didn’t he? Why now? Why not before? Who knew? And what? And when? And will they testify? And when will this happen? Is this about victims? Or a vote? Whom can I trust? What should I think?
In the nauseating swirl of questions I could not answer, a passage popped into my head.
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 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” (1 Corinthians 13:1-7).
I needed those words. Like most (all?) of you, I don’t know the truth of this story. I don’t know who is telling the truth and who is lying. I don’t know the motives of everyone involved.
But I do know this—Love always protects. Love protects the wounded, no matter how old those wounds might be. Love protects the accused by delaying judgment, no matter how convinced certain news commentators seem.
And I know this—Love is patient. Love doesn’t bubble up in anger quickly. It waits, thinks, listens, and prays. Even when much is at stake. Even when everyone else is wearing out their caps lock and shift-1 keys.
And I know this—Love rejoices with the truth. Love loves the truth that appears to help our preferred political party . . . and equally loves the truth that costs it.
And I know this—Love is kind. In asking questions. In answering them. In commenting on the latest news story. In deciding what to share.
And I know this—Love is not self-seeking. Not seeking personal or party interests at the expense of love. But seeking to maximize love to everyone involved, as much as possible after serious prayer.
And I know this—Love does not dishonor others. Not only the accused and the accuser, but also the women who are watching how men react to such accusations. In a country where a sickening number of women have been sexually assaulted by men, we must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and lightning fast to remember the countless women who are wondering if you are a safe person to speak to.
And I know this—Love always hopes. It puts its peace and joy in what is guaranteed for our future, that Jesus will return on the Last Day and hold every word up to the standard of truth.
And I know this—That nothing we do or say means a thing to Jesus without love. You can confirm a judge or not. You can swing the court or not. You can vote your party to the Oval Office, the Senate, and House.
But without love, it means nothing.
Without love, we gain nothing.
Without love, we are nothing.
I often ask you to share your thoughts and comments to these blogs, but this time I will ask you to kindly refrain. Whether you are shouting, “Amen!” or boiling in disagreement or somewhere in between, here is what I will ask instead:
Read 1 Corinthians chapter 13. Then a second time. Then a third. Ignore the rest of this blog and just meditate on each one of God’s words. Let the importance and meaning of love lead you to Jesus.
Only then will you be prepared to judge Jesus’ way.
Pastor Mike Novotny has served God’s people in full-time ministry since 2007 as a pastor in Madison and now Appleton, Wisconsin. He also serves as a host and speaker for the Time of Grace television program and contributes to the written resources of Time of Grace Ministry. Pastor Mike is married to Kim and has two daughters.
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