Poetry With A Mission

...a thought provoking poetical exercise.

“If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?” (James 2:15,16, RSV).

“Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being” (1 Cor 10:24, NKJV).

“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil 2:4, NASB).

“ ‘In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets’ ” (Matt 7:12, NASB).

“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins [where love reigns, men are willing to forgive and forget. Where charity is lacking there is a tendency to magnify the faults and failings of others]” (1 Peter 4:8, NASB).

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind [true humility] let each esteem others better than himself” (Phil 2:3, NKJV).  Note also Gal 5:26.

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification”  (Rom 14:19, NIV).

“Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:4-7, RSV).

“If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar…” (1 John 4:20, NIV).

“We who are strong [spiritually strong, able] ought to bear with the failings of the weak [weakness of faith], and not to please ourselves” (Rom 15:1, NIV).

“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling...” (1 Peter 3:8,9, NKJV).

“ ‘So if you are offering your gift at the alter, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the alter and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift’ ” (Matt 5:23,24, RSV).

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves...Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom 12:19-21, RSV). 

“But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:26, KJV).

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your [God’s] throne [rule]…” (Ps 89:14, NIV).

“ ‘Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him’ ” (Luke 17:3, NKJV). 

“Mortal, I have made you a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, “You shall surely die,” and you give them no warning, or speak to warn the wicked from their wicked way, in order to save their life, those wicked persons shall die for their iniquity; but their blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and they do not turn from their wickedness, or from their wicked way, they shall die for their iniquity; but you will have saved your life” (Ezek 3:17-19).



People like to talk of love, but in practice what do we see?
Many who're talking of it not doing what they’ve said should be.
Yes, words are used so freely, but actions don't always follow,
Thereby making much that is spoken simply ring hollow.

There's few among us who dispute the worthiness of love’s prose,
And the need of words of love in the midst of another's woes.
But oh, love expressed in action is by far the greater need,
For though it is displayed via words, it achieves far more by deed.

Actions show that we’re genuine, that we mean those things we say,
For saying and then not doing can fill others with dismay.
And that's why love never waits 'till it hears another’s plea,
But instead, it sets out to find what the other’s need might be.

No, love doesn't set a time frame, nor has selfish time constraints,
And thus where greater work's needed, its persistence never faints.
Nor does love place conditions where conditions should never be,
And neither is it selective, or displayed unequally.

Love thinks of the minority, puts its own desires last,
It protecting the disadvantaged, countering hatred fast.
And love never agrees with using force to get its own way,
And nor does it intimidate, try to wrongfully gain sway.

Love is also receptive to someone else's point of view,
And where it may well differ, it gives credit where credit's due.
Love won’t wrongly cause offence during any interaction,
Knowing in its wisdom that such soon sees it losing traction.

Love is also full of mercy, compassion and tender care,
And it's never prejudiced, but always seeking to do what is fair.
Yes, love acts impartially, ever has a listening ear,
And always goes the extra mile, seeks another’s heart to cheer.

No, love will never bear a grudge, it is faithful and bears long,
Not talking behind someone’s back, and it tries to right a wrong.
Love gives encouragement and makes allowance for mistakes,
It not breaking a confidence, nor ever deceives or fakes.

But you know,

Many when they talk of love have such naive, unbalanced notions,
Unmindful love is not just words, good deeds or nice emotions.
No, love is also justice -- and obviously, rightful law,
Because without such, it's clear that love would simply be no more.

Love also warns folk of danger, it corrects and disciplines,
And wisely upholds order -- and what is right, it underpins.
Love withholding what is harmful, telling it straight and truthful,
And it expecting these same things from both the aged and youthful.

Yes, love is never satisfied with mere mediocrity,
But seeks the betterment of all wherever that need may be.
It also knowing that sometimes unpleasant things are needed
To achieve a turnaround where wisdom has not been heeded.

But it’s always how it’s done, and how it is said, that matters,
And thus when these two are wed, far less things end up in tatters.
And yes, it's also how it’s lived, because love needs to be seen,
And never is it brighter than when selfishness has left the scene!

By Lance Landall

This older poem was upgraded 19 November 2017