In all regards, today feels like it’s still Monday. It’s been a hectic week and taking the day off yesterday has done no benefit to synchronizing my brain with what day of the week it is.
As I shake off the cobwebs I’m reminded of a bit of truth from I Corinthians 13:5. If you’ve been reading this particular series for any amount of the last five weeks, you’ll know we’ve been discussing what real love is and what it isn’t.
This week we come across another difficult section in that this area is something I’m sure we’ve all dealt with and deal with from time to time.
If you’re a human being, odds are that you’re going to have some kind of interaction with other human beings in the span of your lifetime. It’s only normal, right? I mean, I could be wrong. It wouldn’t be unusual but for the sake of today’s topic, let’s run with it.
Sometimes these interactions with humans can go awry. Regardless of how you may handle it, the temptation may arise at some point to “vent” about your struggles with another friend. We all know that these “venting” sessions can quickly delineate into an all out assault on the other person’s actions or character.
We may not want to admit it but we’ve all been guilty of this from time to time, if not most of the time.
Here’s the issue with doing such things, of which I am incredibly guilty of. As Christians, we are called by God to love His people and to lift them up. Every single human being was made in the image of God, including yourself, and must be treated as such. When we “vent” or put down other people, we’re actually cursing God, their, and your creator.
Harsh sentiment, isn’t it?
Believe me, it’s a difficult one to write because I know just how guilty I am of this. Regardless, we are called to love other people. What does that look like?
I Corinthians 13:5, in a continuation of what we’ve been studying about love, says that real love “does not dishonor others.” In some translations, it says “does not behave unseemly.” Basically, real love treats other people with respect and patience even when they do you wrong.
Remember that Paul is writing to a congregation of believers who are under intense persecution. If anyone ever had a reason to fight back verbally against their enemies, it would be them. These Christians were being jailed, beaten, mocked, and even killed for their faith yet Paul calls them to treat them with respect and love.
How many of us can honestly say that we treat our enemies with love and respect? How many of us can say that, even when someone hurts us, we don’t slander the name they’ve been given? I know that I can’t.
I’m honestly convicted of the way I talk about people. It’s not only ungodly but it’s actually pretty unbecoming of me. It’s not attractive as a man to go whining to other people about what someone else said or did to me. Where is strength in being a complainer? Truthfully, there isn’t any.
In this day and age, this is a love that is contrary. It doesn’t make sense to love your enemies and treat them with respect. In all honesty, though, the love that God shows has always been proven to be counter-cultural.
Here are 3 quick takeaways from today:
1.) The people around you are made in God’s image and loved by God just as much as He loves you
2.) As a Christian, you are called to love other people as God loves you: unconditionally.
3.) You can’t do it on your own. You need Jesus and His saving hand to bring this about in your heart. Go to Him.
Out of the last five weeks, I’d have to say that this has been the most challenging and daunting one for me. I’m hoping and praying that the Lord will open our eyes to see the damage we do and will be faithful to bring our hearts to repentance.
I hope you are all having a great week! I’m going to be an uncle within the next day so pray for my sister’s labor! We’re all very excited!