Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (I Cor13:4-7).
From the “Love Chapter,” this is a very familiar verse to most people who have attended a wedding. Unfortunately, it is usually rattled off with little attention to the meaning of each phrase. Each part is a gem of wisdom, and if we made a determined effort to apply even just one, our relationships would thrive.
One that I especially need to work on is it keeps no record of wrongs. Sometimes I find myself even years later holding ill-feelings toward someone who I felt treated me unfairly. When that happens, we have choices on how to react (after all, to love is a choice). We can attack back—definitely not a relationship builder. We can get even or retaliate on the same level—also not a loving alternative. Or we can rise above and react kindly and respectfully.
If that last choice seems insincere, then we can first try a little exercise in understanding. Maybe their attack had nothing to do with us—we were just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe that person was hurting or confused himself. Our attempt toward understanding can also help with the love is patient, kind and not easily angered phrases too.
I guess second to only Satan, I’m my own worst enemy thinking it’s all about ME. Reflecting on God’s word sure aids in clearing our vision and helps us to take our eyes off ourselves and onto God and others.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Prov3:5).
For a short time, as an adult, I took piano lessons from an old German man, Dr. Wagner (pronounced Vagner). I loved him, but I sometimes I would get frustrated because something was missing. Then one day he remarked, “Mrs. St Clair, you play with your head, not with your heart.”
That was many, many years ago and I have applied that to my life many, many times. Sometimes I act on what I think instead of what is in my heart. But the heart is not always reliable either. What’s worse is when I act from my head instead of in faith.
Over the years, God’s faithfulness has been evident so many times. What may seem logical to me may not fit His perfect plan for my life. I’m glad He acts from the heart when dealing with me, His work in progress.
All glory to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us (Eph 3:20).
I have two thoughts on this verse. When God has answered, “Yes” to my prayers, He has amazed me by doing it in such a way that my limited mind had never imagined. I am reminded of jobs that I prayed for and how He answered with positions I would have never even pursued.
My second thought is that if He had not said, “No” to some of my requests, my life would be a hot mess at this point.
Through His power He is able to do ___*____ more than we ask or imagine. (*infinitely, exceedingly abundantly, above and beyond). And His love is equal to or surpassing that!
Mathew Henry’s commentary on this verse notes that “it is proper always to end prayers with praises. Let us expect more, and ask for more, encouraged by what Christ has already done for our souls.”
The Mind of Christ
Let the mind (attitude) be in you which was also in Christ Jesus (Phil 2:5).
When Jesus came to earth as the Son of Man, He became like us in all things except one—sin. By assuming the form of man, He could model for us a number of human situations in which He acted and reacted sinlessly. He was exposed to hatred, but responded in love. He was exposed to the sick; He responded with compassion. He was exposed to temptation; He resisted by quoting the truths of God’s word. He responded to others with gentleness and humility, always putting the needs of others above His own.
Earthly concerns didn’t bother Him because He knew who He was in relation to the Father. We can have that same relationship. We can have the mind of Christ. He showed us the way.