I had heard this exercise prompt before. You know, replace “Love” with your name in the “love passage” in 1 Corinthians 13. I had never actually done it…I’m still not even sure if it is a proper exercise. But, I went with it. I decided I would take my time and try this out.
Michelle suffers long and is kind; Michelle does not envy; Michelle does not parade herself, is not puffed up; Michelle does not behave rudely, does not seek her own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Can we be honest? Should this “replacement” be legit, I have very little love in me. Of course, there are moments when I am kind and patient. I have a toddler and a preschooler, God has granted me patience most days. However, there are the other days.
But oh dear… puffed up, behaves rudely, is not provoked, thinks no evil?!
When I can’t understand why other people just can’t see scripture, faith, parenting, (fill in the blank), the way I do, I get puffed up and I forget 1 Cor 4:7. (For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you indeed did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?)
When I am frustrated at my husband and I use no words, but angry looks and attitudes I am behaving rudely…and chances are I have allowed myself to be provoked. I have forgotten the fruits of the Spirit…the fruits of joy, gentleness, and self-control.
And by just using the two examples above, we arrive at “thinking” evil. How our thoughts can control us! Am I “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ?” (2 Cor 10:5) When I rage in my selfish mind about why my husband, my mother, my sister, or my friend don’t do things the way I want them to…my thoughts tear me down and in turn my actions and words do not lift others up in love.
So, I am brought back to my knees and back to Christ. His grace is the only answer for my selfish desires and motives. I pray for love. I pray that I can love my God with all my heart, all my mind, and all my soul. And in God’s provision of my love for Him, I will speak His love to those around me.