1 Corinthians 13:4-8:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails... (NASB)
If you are like me, you may cringe when these particular bible verses are read out loud outside of the privacy of my own prayer closet. Why? Because I feel like everyone in the room can see which part(s) I have failed at. The “Love” chapter can really feel like everything else but... love. It’s more like a mirror, if I may. A mirror in which my flaws are highlighted and magnified.
My view on this chapter was changed when I visited Household of Faith Ministries in Raleigh, NC. Pastor Donna Porter taught on this specific set of scriptures. Instead of focusing on our shortcomings (that I realized later she couldn’t even see), she encouraged us to put our own name in the place of the word “love”. She literally made us all recite the scripture right then and there replacing the word with our very own name. Instantly, I felt as if I had made a major step in my spiritual walk. I became patient, I became kind, I was not jealous... The shame went away and the courage to do better began to grow. There was and still is a lot for me to fulfill, but that day gave me a realistic target to practice on. Myself! It gave me a means of practically applying this Word from the Bible to my life and my marriage.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes holding ourselves accountable to the Word of God can feel like a bad day in court. The guilt and shame can override our spirit man, and Holy Spirit has to put out a bench warrant for us to get us back into God’s presence. And yet, when God reveals practical ways like this for us to apply His words, it doesn’t end up feeling that way at all. It’s an emotional trap! Even though it’s 2018, He still speaks in that still, small voice, wooing us with that same description we began this blog with. Jesus is patient. Jesus is kind. He keeps no record of wrong! Hallelujah!
You may ask, “Lord, how can I be more loving?” Place your name in that scripture and let it speak into your heart. Whatever issues that are revealed from doing this, know that God is faithful to guide you to the answers to resolve them. In the meantime, let’s make sure that we continue to demonstrate the Word in our marriages. We are patient, kind and not jealous, we keep no record of their wrongs. We work to be all these things and more to our spouses, instead of merely expecting to see those attributes from them.
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Just a little birdy and fish about the Father's business. Helping to better the world one blog at a time.