Part of being a Christian is reading the bible and learning how to work the messages and lessons into your every day life. After reading a friend’s blog post (http://lamerediaries.blogspot.com) I decided to try something new. I went to Bible Gateway to read their Daily Verse (most websites have them, and I know my YouVersion App has one).
Today’s verse is oddly one of the most over-used and cliched verses out there. It reads the following:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NIV
So what can I take away from this message to make my life better and more fulfilling here on earth? I take the following lessons.
Love is patient. I need to remember that everyone has lived a different life than mine. Just because something makes sense to me or just because I would do things some way doesn’t mean that another persons choices are wrong. I need to be patient with others (as I would want them to be with me).
Love is kind. Love means not holding or saying a bad word against people. This is very hard for me. I like to tell people what is wrong with my day or how I’ve been wronged (“Can you believe the person who I’m working with showed up an HOUR late today?”). The problem with that is that if you focus on the negative you’ll only see the negative. Also, being mad at someone or thinking not kind things is only going to negatively affect the way I’m feeling.
It does not boast. I’m generally not a boastful person so this is fairly easy for me to understand and apply. Basically, do not brag or show off the wonderful things in your life. Be happy, express your happiness. However, do not do it in an attempt to make other people feel inferior about what they have.
It does not dishonor others. Love in some ways can apply to the work you do or even the strangers you meet in every day life. Do not dishonor others means treat everyone with respect and as Jesus would have. There’s an expression somewhere along the lines of Be the Christian Message you want people to see. I know that’s not exactly what it says but basically act in such a Christian way that people who are new to the faith don’t need a bible to know what Jesus teaches.
It is not self-seeking. The Bible tells us to act in a way that will honor and please God. It is important for me, and everyone, to remember that when you make decisions in your life you need to make them bearing in mind what God would want you to do, not what you would want to do. If you don’t know how to react in a certain circumstance, you can always go ask God for guidance.
It is not easily angered. This is similar to patience. Be appeasing and don’t look for reasons to find fault in others. The expression “Be slow to anger and quick to forgive” is one that echos the sentiment of this phrase.
It keeps no record of wrongs. This goes back to something I read in Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project” she says she built a better marriage on the concept of quitting with the score cards. Love isn’t about who has done what for whom, or who messed up and how. Forgiveness means just that, forgiveness. If the Heavenly Father is not keeping tabs on each and every sin you commit (thank goodness the list would certainly be long) then why should you treat others, especially those that you love, the same way.
What do you think? What practices do you use to help you become and stay a better Christian?