Lest you think I’ve forgotten my effort to work through 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, I haven’t… It’s just a longer process than I expected. Well, I expected it to be a life-long thing, to learn to love like that, but to think about how each trait should look in my life, to be consistently mindful of what I need to do to establish new habits, well, I’m a slow-learner.
Bad habits… easy to fall into. Because they generally involve something that brings us some type of pleasure or validation, twisted though it may be.
Good habits… not so easy.
So far I’ve written about patient and kind… Tall orders in the smallness of humanity.
And if you read my post Monday, you know that I’ve been struggling again with mood swings. It’s difficult to think straight when the black fog swirls and tries to take over, when my brain switches to mere-existence mode, and I’m not really living. Though it’s worse to stay there, and sink further into the… miasma… the rapid ups-and-downs are e x h a u s t i n g and disorienting.
However, God is good; all the time. Another storm weathered. My mood is leveling.
But even with a level mood, patience is not a natural virtue for very many of us, is it?
Still focusing on one aspect: keeping my voice down when I am frustrated in my home. Love is patient.
If you remember from two weeks ago, the word translated “kind” in the NASB has two aspects: usefulness and benevolence. I shared two questions this raised for me:
Have I been useful to those around me today?
Do I serve for others’ sakes, or for my benefit?
Today I’m thinking about how I need to consider the potential outcomes and my motivations when deciding to say “yes” or “no” to requests for help or opportunities to serve:
Am I loving like Christ and meeting a need, or enabling and feeding brokenness?
Do I want to serve as Christ’s hands and feet, or do I want to feel better about myself?
Ultimately, everything we do is worship. Who gets the glory for what I am about to do?
I want all I do, think, say, and am to honor my Father Creator.
Yes, this is definitely something I’ll be working on for the rest of my life.
Next week I hope to share with you how I’m getting into Love is not jealous… Humility, humility…
It’s funny how God brings things together – I thought of my Corinthian love dare while reading James 3 this morning:
13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Love and wisdom, as well as righteousness and peace, are inextricably intertwined.