Always and never
When it’s cold out, I always wear a hat. And I never go out without gloves on my hands. Oops! I did forget one time, and …. My mother once told me, “Never say never.” We could add, “Never say always.”
Both sayings can be true, but nothing on earth is absolute. There are exceptions to every rule. Owls and beavers are considered nocturnal but they do come out in the daylight sometimes. The clock chimes on the hour but is not always totally accurate. Dad arrives home from work at 6 o’clock every night … except. We might wonder if we can depend on anything or anyone!
Always and never may not apply accurately to the world in which we live, but they do apply to God’s supernatural realm. We can always depend on God, and his love, because God is love. We read in the Gospels that he is with us always. His righteousness will never fail, we’re told in Isaiah 51:6.
Another example of this absolute is given in 1 Corinthians 13, the “love chapter.” We’re told that love is patient and kind, and rejoices in the truth. Love does not envy or boast, is not rude or self-seeking or easily angered, and holds no record of wrongs. We could spend days mulling over those truths. If applied to our lives, each truth by itself could be life-changing.
But the love chapter tells us even more. We learn that there is an always and a never in God’s trustworthy vocabulary. Love always protects. Love always trusts. Love always hopes. Love always perseveres, or endures. And love never fails, or ends. God is love and he desires that we love others, even as Jesus loved us enough to die for us. Therefore, when we accept his unconditional love, he will give us the power and will to follow his example by loving others. He will make a way for us to love those we don’t like, to love even our enemies.
Lord, sometimes it’s hard to love. When someone hurts us or uses us, we’d rather hurt back. Give us the desire and strength to always love them anyway, to never withhold your love from anyone, to follow your perfect example of love. May your love shine through every word we speak and every act we give so others will see you in us. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Mrs. Bair may be reached at email@example.com