The Most Excellent Way vs The Hissing Name
Current System Configuration: Heroic? Inspired?
–Agony Is My Name by Rhapsody of Fire. Freaky sounding title, but it’s about a tortured hero crying out for holy justice. Excellent mix of metal and baroque.
[Breakfast]: Grilled cheese sandwich
Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. I’m still not done, argh!
What is the most difficult thing to do?
It’s easy to love someone who loves you back. It’s easy to love for a reason. After all, we are rational beings. We do things for a reason. But when is love truly powerful?
When the object of your love does not love you back.
It’s interesting to note, as a good friend of mine pointed out, that the Bible defines God, but not love. It does, however, describe love in great detail here:
And now I will show you the most excellent way.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of propheciy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the imperfect comes, the imperfect disappears.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put my childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13)
The first few paragraph, which describe love, are rather straightforward. They aren’t easy to apply, but their meaning is clear. But what about the last two paragraphs?
Back then, mirrors weren’t made of glass with silver backing, as they are now. They were simply made of polished metal, so their reflections weren’t very clear. These two paragraphs tell us that of all the things we could ever learn from God, the most important is love. We may know a little something about love here, on our own. We may know how to love beautiful people, our friends, our families—but admittedly, those are easy to love. It is exceedingly difficult for us to love those who cannot, do not, love us back—those who refuse to love us back.
But God did that, spreading out his arms on the cross to embrace the world that killed him. We can’t know love fully on this plane of existence. All we have here is a dim vision of the glory that is love. If God were to have physical form, his blood would be love, and he showed us this quite clearly on the cross.
And so why is love so highly exalted over even faith and hope?
Faith and hope are only around because they are necessary in this dark world. They are wonderful things, yes, but in the next world, they will no longer be needed. We will see God face to face—love will be manifest completely.
Whenever we love, we do what we were meant to do for the rest of eternity. And that is why love is done an injustice when evil is done “in its name.” Someone “loves” another man so she murders her husband? That’s lust.
A boiling of the loins, a gurgling of the glands, a passion of the flesh. It has nothing to do with eternity. It is mortal, corrupt, and hollow. It is not love.
I just wanted to post this in light of all the pain I’ve seen my students go through because their classmates choose to gossip and spread unfounded rumors. They choose to callously judge their classmates without hearing their side first.
WHO AM I?
I have no respect for justice.
I maim without killing.
I break hearts and ruin lives.
I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age.
The more I am quoted the more I am believed.
I flourish at every level of society.
My victims are helpless; they cannot protect
themselves against me because I have no name and no face.
To track me down is impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become.
I am nobody’s friend.
Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same.
I topple governments and ruin marriages.
I end ministries set up by God.
I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartache and indigestion.
I spawn suspicion and generate grief.
I make headlines, headaches and heartaches
I make innocent people cry in their pillows.
Even my name hisses.
WHO AM I? I AM CALLED GOSSIP.
I’m tired of seeing fragile young hearts shattered by the hissing name. It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not—gossip is character assassination and is tantamount to murder. It is attacking the defenseless. Please watch what you say, because these words are like a plague. They spread quickly and viciously destroy people from the inside out.
Which way do you go from here? I follow the most excellent way. Of course, it is most excellent precisely because it is most difficult.
Piercing the Hissing Name
in the name of the Author of the Most Excellent Way,
Your Black Lion