It’s wedding and anniversary season – or at least in a “normal” year it would be!
The top Scripture passage read at weddings is 1 Corinthians 13. However, this passage says nothing about weddings or marriage. Instead, it’s a summary of Christ-like love and what such love would look like if we practiced it in our daily actions and attitudes in the Church and in all our relationships.
Beginning with this post, I plan to share a series of devotions based on 1 Corinthians 13, reflecting on how these timeless words describe Christ’s love for us, as well as our love for one another, even through these tough times.
Jesus warned that, in the last days, “the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12b). Paul warned later in his ministry that love will increasingly become twisted and misplaced, loving pleasure, self, money, and other pursuits rather than loving the Lord of life (2 Timothy 3:1-5). May it not be so among Christ’s faithful people!
Because love is so much more than a passing emotion (something you’re “in”), it takes practice, persistence, and, as Paul states in 1 Corinthians 13:4, patience and kindness. Christ-like love definitely doesn’t come naturally to us, but Christ’s patience with people is staggering!
I believe Paul’s words in this chapter first describe Christ’s deep and patient love with His people. I don’t think we can fully grasp just how much the Lord puts up with each of us as we disobey and distance ourselves from Him … Yet, He “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9b).
How’ve you been doing in the patience and kindness department? Speaking for myself, I know that my sense of patience and my acts of kindness have been running thin lately. The many effects of the pandemic are taking a toll on all of us. It’s all too easy these days to be short-tempered and snippy, even with those we love the most! It’s hard enough to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, but it’s even harder when we’re afraid or overwhelmed or just drained by everything that’s happening.
My own willpower isn’t going to make be be more patient and kind – at least not for very long. Just like our patience and kindness, our willpower also has its limits.
The Good News is that Jesus’ love knows no limits! His patience and kindness toward you is beyond description! He’s ready – right now – for you and me to turn to Him, repent of the coldness of our love, be loved by Him once again, and be filled with His surpassing love for us. And as Jesus’ Word returns us to Him and the true love of God, that love will begin to flow through us.
Your family members, coworkers, and neighbors all need more patience and kindness in their lives. Let Jesus’ love for you be your starting place. He loves you patiently and unconditionally so that you can love others in His name.
For your prayers: Jesus, bring me back to Your great and saving love for me. Help me to love others in my life by being more patient with … and by showing kindness to …