Love Has No Write-Offs…
Day 19 – January 26, 2018
About ten years ago I received a tragic email from a friend. It read like this.
Our daughter Tracy went to be with Jesus on Tuesday morning at 11:48. She was twenty-one years old. Tracy was an especially bright, beautiful young lady with a signature in her personality that left a lasting impression on all who met her. She was first on a waiting list of in-house recovery when she lost her battle against drug addiction.
As you might imagine, this email was not the introduction of a problem that was just recently discovered. This was an epilogue of a story that had taken many years to unfold. Tracy had been struggling with problems for a very long time before her death. And she wasn’t the only one who struggled. Her mother and father have been in the trenches with her from the very beginning.
I don’t know what the percentages are, but I do know that those who seem to overcome their addictions are those who have others go through the deep places with them. I marvel at parents who never let their child go no matter what they have done, no matter how many times they have failed. I have witnessed situations where I would think that the parents should just walk away…just give up. But I watch as they keep trying, keep praying, and keep giving.
I have a business background. One of the things that I learned in business was the IRS allowance for bad business decisions. I could invest in a venture, or a piece of software, or a marketing plan. And if my investment or software or plan would fail, I would have the luxury of being able to write off my losses and reduce my taxes for the year. I could just walk away from the deal and get a tax break.
While the Write-Off works well for business, God is telling us that it is not something that we can do with people. Read what the Apostle Paul says.
“Love puts up with anything…never looks back, but keeps going to the end.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 (MSG)
In other words, Love endures the worst. This may well be the toughest kind of love that exists…love that doesn’t quit, love that puts up with anything. This is the kind of love that cannot write off a person.
I didn’t understand just how deep God’s love was until I was at my worst. It was at the point of my greatest failure that I discovered His greatest character trait…love. God is love. And His love endures the worst.
Take a moment today and think of someone who has displayed this kind of enduring love. Perhaps it was the parent of a lost teenager. Maybe it was the spouse of an alcoholic, or the spouse of someone who became disabled and required extensive care. One common characteristic that you will find is that this person has given up many of their own dreams and ambitions to simply love. If you cannot think of someone like that, then take a look at Jesus Christ. He refused to quit on lost humanity. And when it looked like there was no hope for us, He spread out His arms and gave His life.
When I think about that kind of love, I realize that I Corinthians 13 should not be called the wedding Scripture. It’s too messy…too tough…not all that pretty. But it’s the kind of love that can change lives.