This is the final post (for now) in my series on 1 Corinthians 13. It is actually a repost from a couple of years ago but I thought it made a great conclusion!
So, tell me: When you read 1 Corinthians 13; you know, "Love is patient, love is kind...", how do you apply it to your own life? Do you immediately get struck with a sense of guilt right there at the beginning? Patient? Yeah, right...not with these kids... Or what about the next phrase, Love is kind...like as in how we should treat our spouses? Other drivers?
When I read through verses, 4-8 of that particular chapter, I always think of how I need to apply these verses to my interactions with my family and others around me.
But tonight, I saw it differently. Tonight, I inserted the name of Jesus...right there in all those places where it says "love". Just change it to Jesus and see what you come up with. More than that, end those phrases with your own name. Like this:
Jesus is patient with Sarah.
Jesus is kind to Sarah.
Jesus does not envy nor does he want Sarah to envy.
Jesus does not boast (although he does dance over Sarah).
Jesus is not proud (though he does take joy in his Creation, Sarah)
Jesus is not rude nor does he want Sarah to be rude.
Jesus is not self-seeking and he wants Sarah to be self-less too.
Jesus is not easily-angered nor does he want Sarah to be easily angered.
Jesus keeps no record of wrongs...even Sarah's wrongs.
Jesus does not delight in evil...nor should Sarah delight in evil.
Jesus rejoices with the truth...he wants Sarah to rejoice with the truth!
Jesus always protects Sarah.
Jesus always trusts God's Word and Promises for Sarah.
Jesus always hopes for Sarah.
Jesus always has and always will persevere for Sarah.
....and, best of all, Jesus will never fail Sarah.
Here's the part I always miss from that passage: verse 10: "but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears." I never get to that part because I stop half way through the litany of love's characteristics. I stop because I am so overcome with my own inadequacy that it shames me and I know I can't ever be all those things that love is.
But wait a minute...when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears! When Jesus covers me and works through me I think I just might be able to be some of those things after all! By God's grace, we all have the ability to posses a clean slate any time we want to! We can make that imperfection disappear by asking Jesus to come with his perfection!
Can it really be that easy? Yes, it can. Because Jesus did the most difficult thing of all. He became sin for us so we could become the righteousness of God. He did the hard stuff so it could really be that easy for us. Let's not take that for granted!