Have you ever viewed clichés as a weapon?
THINK OF a truthful saying that starts out full of power. If it’s over-spoken and over-taught, our minds and eyes will soon gloss over it.
THE PASSAGE I’m thinking of gets recited at weddings. Clergymen of all denominations teach on it.
Many of us could recite it and give it minimal thought. No passion.
YET THIS passage was intended — IS intended — to empower us to change the world.
Did you catch that?
I’ll say it one more time…
EMPOWERED TO CHANGE THE WORLD
(Why do I think you’re not listening?)
If you feel you LACK power and INFLUENCE within your sphere of influence…
Then pray aloud:
“Lord God, give me a fresh revelation of Your character.”
Now reconsider I Corinthians 13 (amp) without glossing over it.
If God IS love, then . . .
GOD is PATIENT and kind
GOD is NEVER ENVIOUS
GOD is NOT BOASTFUL or vainglorious. (He’s confident in who He is.)
If God IS love . . .
GOD is NOT ARROGANT
GOD is NOT RUDE and does not act unbecomingly.
GOD does NOT INSIST on His own rights or His own way. He doesn’t have to…
HE JUST IS
and the life.
No room for argument
No amount of human insistence
can change absolute Truth
We were not designed for existential thinking
If God IS love, then . . .
GOD is NOT SELF-SEEKING (He sacrificed His worthy life for an unworthy creation)
GOD is NOT FRETFUL or RESENTFUL
GOD KEEPS NO ACCOUNT of the evil done to Him [“Father, forgive them…”)
GOD does NOT REJOICE at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. (He’s the entire, fanatic cheering squad on your side)
GOD bears up under anything and everything that comes His way;
HE is always ready to believe the best of every person,
HIS hope is fadeless under all circumstances,
HE endures everything without weakening.
He is our perfect strength;
He has no weakness
He never fails
Never fades out
Never becomes obsolete
Never comes to an end.
Love never fails because
GOD is Love
AFTER I read that passage, Holy Spirit had me state the opposite of each verse (the implied lack of love), and then search my heart with a magnifying glass:
v.4 I’m easily rubbed the wrong way, easily irritated and impatient.
I’m envious of friends/co-workers who get promoted or sign a big contract. I’m not confident in who I am or in my purpose.
v.5 People tell me I display a superior or exaggerated opinion of my importance. I roll my eyes inside at annoying people and push to the front of the line. I cut other drivers off so I can reach the light first.
When I don’t get my way, I sulk.
I get frustrated when things are not done my way. My way is best and I’ll manipulate others to make it happen.
I feel insecure
I keep score with people, even those I love. I struggle giving unconditional acceptance
v.6 I laugh when an opponent or co-worker falls from grace.
Did any part of the above prick your heart?
“I want to be empowered by Love. But how?”
“You live in me, and You’re on my side. Make me confident.”
“I am but human. Take away my arrogance.”
“You have provided everything and promise to complete in me the work You started. Help me to seek the interest of others instead of be self-seeking.”
“You forgave an entire community, race, and world of its combined wretchedness. Help me forgive________” (Create a list: the driver who cut me off; my spouse for cheating on me; the man who shot my son; the doctor who mistakenly misdiagnosed and killed my…) Be transparent with Love.
“Instead of rehashing societal evil, help me rejoice when truth prevails. Whatever is pure, lovely, right…I’ll think on such things.”
Faith, Hope, & Love abide
Faith — conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things;
Hope — joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation;
Love — true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us,
But the GREATEST of these IS LOVE!