LOVE TRUMPS EVERYTHING
- Key Verse
- "But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13)
- READ THE CHAPTER
And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:3)
Reflections"So there is nothing new under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9b) It is a daunting task to find something new in this familiar chapter of 1 Corinthians 13. Instead of flowery imagery, I thought I would rehash a few of the past week's failures in applying this passage.
Wednesday -- Putting my desires before those of my in-laws (love is not self-seeking, verse 5)
Thursday -- Giving up on a friend who has been enslaved to alcohol for almost 30 years (love always hopes, verse 7)
Friday -- Wanting the latest interiors to finish our remodeling project (love does not envy, verse 4)
Saturday -- Momentarily losing hope for a friend who is losing his battle with cancer (love always hopes and never fails, verses 7-8)
Sunday -- Allowing a conflict to brew with my husband (love is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs, verse 5)
Monday -- Not believing the best about a friend (love always trusts, verse 7)
That brings us to today. In what area will I fail today?
Although this is one of my favorite passages of Scripture, it is also the most convicting. When I'm having trouble seeing my part in a conflict, I use 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 to help identify the log in my eye. (Matthew 7:5) Am I caring more for myself than others? Do I want what I do not have? Am I keeping score of the sins of others? Am I always looking for the best in others? Looking through this lens helps me to identify the ways I have been unloving.
A primary way I am unloving towards others is failing to believe the best. If you don't believe me, ask my husband. He will confirm that he's been on the receiving end of an unloving heart many times. Bless his heart for loving me.
The end of the chapter offers hope. Loving God and loving others as much as I already love myself is a passion worth pursuing over all things. (Matthew 22:37-39) When I find myself choosing others over myself, I am grateful for evidence of the Holy Spirit replacing my thoughts with His thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)
Discussion Questions1. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate yourself in love towards others? What was your criteria for scoring? Reread 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Rate yourself again.
2. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 again. Substitute your name each time you see the word love. Does it bring comfort or conviction?
3. Are you kind, even when you want to tear down another with your words? Are you sympathetic, considerate, gentle, and agreeable?
4. Do you act in a manner becoming a follower of Christ, even when being boastful, rude, or overbearing will get you attention or allow you to get your own way?
5. Do you rejoice with the truth? Will you endure with others who are difficult to understand or deal with?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
1 Corinthians 12-16 (July 2-6)
Read 1 Corinthians 12.
• What does the Spirit give each person?
• Does every person have the same gifts?
• Why is it important for each believer in Christ to use the gifts that God has given each of us?
• What example does chapter 12 use to show why we each need to use our gifts for God's glory?
Paste this link in your browser (http://wmcc.jointhejourney.com/page_/3912) to review some of the various spiritual gifts, as well as examples of the ways in which those gifts are manifested. As you look over the list of spiritual gifts, which ones do you feel are specifically gifts that you have?
Activity: Do this activity one night at dinner. On slips of paper, write: cover eyes, tie hands behind back, can't walk, can't talk (if you have more than four people, write some of them more than once). Have each person draw one of the slips of paper. This is what that person will do or not be able to do throughout the entire meal. To show the need for everyone to use their gifts, everyone will have to work together so that everyone can eat and get the food and drink they need.
After dinner, talk about what it meant for others to use what they had to help you. What a great picture of why God used the body working together as an example of what it means to bring Him great glory!