I’ll be frank, I’m massively challenged by 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (the whole chapter). We all think we know what love is and are happy to concede that it is necessary for a fulfilled, happy and fruitful life. Both to be loved and to love is how God ministers to us and how we are in turn to minister to others and walk in the Spirit.
It seems easy to walk in this kind of love when everything is going swimmingly and there is nothing but bliss in your life, but lets be real, that rarely happens. When the pressures of life pile in all of that seems idealistic and more often than not you find out that you don’t resemble the kind of ‘God love’ described in this passage.
When it comes to patience and forbearance and endurance in my case, I’m definitely a work in progress! When I’m sleep deprived; when I’m overburdened by false expectation; when I’m suffering with self-doubt and more I’d like to get to the place where I can remain patient; where the words that exit my mouth are kind and uplifting, but alas some of the time they are not!
O who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ my Lord!
At the root of that inability to respond instead of react is fear. Yes, that ugly word! At the heart of fear is torment. At the base of torment is a soul that has not yet found its healing in the love of God. 1 John 4: 18-19 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.
I’m convinced that real change doesn’t happen by willpower alone. It helps but its not the answer because it doesn’t deal with the root. Recognizing that God’s love and God’s words are the ointment that my soul needs to come out of fear and into lasting peace is the answer and that is not something that happens overnight but by the inner transformation that comes by walking with Jesus. Don’t hide when you fall, come boldly to that throne of grace and mercy!
For me, I just need to be gracious to myself, quick to humble myself and quick to forgive and ask forgiveness when I blow it. All things that I have recognized over the years and practiced. Perhaps if you are reading this, God is asking you to do the same.
But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love
God bless you in your journey.