Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Conviction of Love

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.


Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Beautiful post, my friend. It amazes me every time I read His it shows such a detailed reflection of myself back at me. It's supposed to do that, though. And we are not to forget what we saw in the mirror, either. That's why we're to be in it daily, or we will forget. Great reminder. I love your conclusion...the last paragraph. "...brought back to my knees and back to Christ." Right where He wants you, my dear. :-)

Tracy said...

Oh Michelle do I relate only too well to your phrase "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."! I'm sure glad that, like it says in Lamentations 3:22-23, God's love and mercy are great so that we are not completely destroyed. So grateful for God's forgiveness through Jesus, and so grateful that, like it says in 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 & 1 Corinthians 1:30 & Romans 6:22, He doesn't just leave us as we are - that He changes us to become more and more like Him.

I'm not so sure but I'm wondering if putting your name into the 1 Corinthians 13 passage can be a faith statement; a believing for the work God is doing, and will do in the future, to build you into that kind of person.

Camille said...

What a thought-provoking post Michelle! Oh how often we fail...but how wonderful our Saviour is!! I have read/prayed through I Cor. 13 many times and find myself falling short every time...what does that do? It drives me to the LORD and HIS enabling...what a blessing that HE is the ONE that gives the grace and strength to love anyone at all...all of HIM and none of me. I have appreciated my visit here with you today...thank you for sharing your's lovely. :)

Many blessings,