during my devotion time this morning, i felt the Lord prompting me to read 1 Corinthians 13….also known as the love chapter. i almost didn’t even open my Bible to the passage, because i felt that i already knew it by memory. well, God had other plans for me….as he usually does. 🙂
as i was reading, i was struck (first) by the second half of verse 2, “and if i have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, i am nothing.” verse 3 goes on to say, “if i give away all that i have, and if i delever myself up my body to be burned, but have not love, i am nothing”…..nothing. i’ve read this passage numerous times and never really thought much of it, but this time, God got my attention.
i mean, i have faith in God, but to have faith enough to move mountains, well, let’s just say that i’m not quite there. i don’t know how many times God has had to say to me, “oh ye of little faith!” so just the thought of having that kind of faith was enough to catch my attention, but then to read that even with that kind faith, if i don’t have love, i am NOTHING.
that just blew me away. and then i was thinking how noble it would be to give away all that i have for the sake of helping others, only to read in verse 3 that if i give it all away and don’t have love, i am nothing….there’s that word again…..
at this point, i go on to read verses 4-8.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away
i was very sobered by this passage. i was literally dumbfounded by the fact that this passage was revealing a lot to me about the condition of my own sinful heart.
i mean, sure, i am patient and kind to others….outside of my family. i never insist on my own way…outside of my family. i’m never irritable or rude with my friends or those who are “outside of my family”.
this passage was very eye opening for me….and very painful. i was very convicted by the fact that i am not characterized by being patient and kind with my kids. and while i am consistently teaching them about being kind and not rude to each other, i myself struggle with being kind, and not rude, to them. i am often irritable when they “interrupt” me by asking for something or by fighting with each other and requiring my attention.
i actually caught myself thinking, “at least i don’t insist on my own way”, but i then realized that when i am being impatient with them, that i am, in reality, demanding my own way.
while there was the temptation to feel overwhelmed by all of this this morning, God, in his sweet loving way, reminded me that He is Love. that just like my kids need my help learning how to love and to be kind, i need God’s help. i can’t love the way he does aside from His amazing grace at work in my life.
he also reminded me that he didn’t bring this passage to my attention in order to make me feel hopeless and like a failure as a mommy, but instead, he wanted to remind me of my need for him; daily, hourly, minute by minute. he showed me that bringing me to this passage was, in fact, an expression of his love for me. it was his way of helping me to see where i need to grow, with His help.
i am so grateful that God doesn’t require me to be a perfect mommy and that it’s his Word and His grace that will change my kids, not my imperfect ways.
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