Scripture to follow…
One of the realities that we live with is that we are all works in progress. We have strong points and weak points. There are areas where we have really grown in God, and then there are those areas where our growth is stunted or nonexistent. We can become callous to the reality of who we are; the ‘who we are’ that others encounter.
In looking at our lives, there are many attributes of our character. I would like us to look at each of the following and prayerfully ask the Lord to help us to have eyes to see where we are in the continuum that exists for each. This assumes that we know what each of the attributes is. Do we know what being polite looks like? What about the nuances of being rude? Do we readily recognize inappropriate pride in our lives? How does it differ from humility?
Considering the illustration of ‘sour to sweet’, do we understand that there are many degrees between the two? Such as really sour; to sour; to slightly sour; to not sweet enough; to just right. Where do you see yourself on each of the following spectrums?
- Rude to Polite
- Proud to Humble
- Boastful to Not boastful
- Unkind to Kind
- Easily angered to Not easily angered
- Remember wrongs to Overlook wrongs
- Impatient to Patient
- Envious to Not envious
- Self-seeking to Not self-seeking
- Delight in evil to Rejoice with truth
- Unprotective to Protective
- Untrusting to Trusting
- Skeptical to Hopeful
- Gives up easily to Perseveres
- Fails to Never fails
We must recognize that the ingredients on the right are those of God’s Kingdom. Those on the left speak of another kingdom in this world. (It’s a place we aren’t even supposed to visit let alone live there!)
You have probably surmised that this listing has to do with the attributes of love from 1 Corinthians 13. The more our lives fall to the right side of each of the above continuums, the more they are demonstrating love of Christ. Think of them as identifying ‘whose’ we are! (Children of Light or children of darkness) Here is the way Paul puts it:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails.