Love Brings Us Face to Face with Ourselves
“This is true weed whacking!” my roommate said as she attacked the two forests that were my eyebrows with a pair of tweezers.
In high school, the girls maintained a painful ritual called eyebrow tweezing (because no girl wants caterpillar eyebrows. Unless it’s 2020. Then you look like you stepped out of Vogue). After a few weeks though, little hairs would start to grow back. I’d tell myself my brows weren’t bad; I could put off tweezing a while longer. But eventually, I’d pull out my magnifying mirror and find growth that would make the rainforest green with envy.
That horror reminds me of something Paul said at the end of 1 Corinthians 13. He’d just described a perfect standard of love that we’re to strive for—no envying, no boasting, etc. Then in verse 12, he says, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face…” In other words, on our own, we don’t know how to love. In fact, our self-perception is so off, it’s like we’re looking in a dirty mirror, thinking, “I’m doing great!” But, as we discover the fullness of God’s love, we come face-to-face with the ugliness of our selfishness. #glowdown
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time facing myself. I’d rather airbrush my fatal flaws with defensiveness, withdrawal, and a good reality TV show.
It’s painful. It’ll make you want to run, and that’s OK. Run to Jesus.
It’s the end of the year, and maybe you’re facing yourself too: promises you didn’t keep, addictions you haven’t broken, people you’ve hurt. It’s tempting to despair, but this is actually the first step to having all the traits of love. How? Paul explains in the next sentence: “Now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” In other words, “I’ll know love fully as I allow myself to be fully known.”
When we face everything in ourselves with God, we see that He still wants to be with us, despite all our flaws. This is the fullness of love and it transforms us and gives us the power to love others. But we can’t experience this love unless we let Him see everything.
It’s painful. It’ll make you want to run, and that’s OK. Run to Jesus. He is a strong Savior. As we experience His unconditional love, we’ll begin to live out all of 1 Corinthians 13.