Recently, as I was meeting with some of the leaders of our women's ministry, we were discussing how humility, love and unity are hallmarks of godly leadership. We covered the oh so familiar chapter of 1 Corinthians 13. While many of us know the gist of this scripture, and many of us may even have it memorized word-perfect, I was challenged to consider how many instances in my life would have been very different if I would have only applied the knowledge that I had from 1 Corinthians 13. Take a moment and linger over the descriptions of love. Try to read it like it's the first time you've ever seen it and you're really digesting it.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (vs. 4-7)
I only quoted the middle portion of this chapter, but go ahead and read the first and last parts too since all of God's Word is profitable. So, after really really reading this well-known passage, can you agree with me that there are likely a whole bunch of situations in our lives that would have turned out differently if we just applied biblical love to them?
Situation #1: That woman whose husband was asked to do something at church or at work, but my husband wasn't.
Situation #2: Assuming the worst in another person and not giving her grace by quickly resolving an issue or clarifying a question or concern.
Situation #3: Grumbling because I didn't get a moment to sit down and relax before another child was asking for a drink of water or help in the bathroom.
Situation #4: My response when another woman's husband did something hopelessly romantic for her.
Situation #5: A quick response of anger because a child frustrated me.
The list could go on and on, couldn't it? Each and every day we are given plenty of opportunities to practice biblical love toward others. We know this, yet we choose to prefer walking by our flesh rather than by the Holy Spirit.
Let's be diligent to keep crucifying our flesh and live by the Holy Spirit. Let's not just know about biblical love, but let's live it out.