Thoughts From Toby

Upholding Love

Over the last several weeks, our Wednesday evening gathering has been a time of reflection on the book of Proverbs. If you haven’t attended, what we do is read three chapters of Proverbs together, and then spend some time discussing what stood out to us, or how God spoke to us through those particular chapters. We just passed the halfway point, so there is still time to join in!

In this past week’s reading, one verse that really stuck out to me was Proverbs 15:17, which says, “Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.” Now, it’s kind of a funny saying just because of the contrast between eating peas and carrots and eating prime rib, but there’s also a profound truth in it. Better to have something small, seemingly insignificant, invaluable, but to have it with love, than to have something of great value, but to have it with hatred. And I think you can read that verse in a couple of different ways. One on hand, it’s better to have something, and to have it with love in your heart, than to have something much more valuable, but to have it with hatred in your heart. But I think you can also read it as saying that it’s better to receive something in love than in hatred, and it’s also better to give something in love than in hatred, no matter what the item being given or received is. Here’s my takeaway from all of that: Love is better! I don’t know about you, but I’m challenged by that. It’s so easy to let love slip to the backburner and to be motivated by any number of things that are not love. But love is better. And if we can grasp that concept, then no matter the situation, we can respond by upholding the great love of God.