Little Black Book of Pain
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Verse 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Yesterday we learned that Jesus’ prayed that we would love each other and that the world can recognize us as His through our love for each other. As we learned the other day, God shows His love for us through His grace towards us and since we know that we are to love like He does, we are going to look at what grace should look like in the life of the Church.
The list in today’s passage is familiar with many people, some who don’t even go to a church service, since it is often used in weddings. Sadly, like many other popular Scriptures we often pass over them without really thinking about them. We will be looking at the list in more depth later in the series but today we focus on just a couple of the items listed.
One thing that grace is not, is self-serving. Grace is about seeing the other person in the same light that we hope God sees us. It is so easy to hope that the other person is more interested in our good than their own or the good of the relationship. We want God to see us not as the sinners that we are but as His sons and daughters. We look at God’s grace in light of our self-serving. Oftentimes we care more about His grace than we do about Him. Maybe we don’t like thinking of ourselves as sinners so it is easier on us to think that God doesn’t view us that way either. And yet we don’t miss thinking of our fellow Christians as sinners, do we?
Another way we miss showing grace to fellow Christians is how we hold records of wrongs committed against us. We are thankful that God doesn’t hold our sins against us and yet we don’t show the same love and grace to other Christians. Grace isn’t saying that the hurt didn’t happen but it is saying that love is bigger than the sin. That is the only reason God shows us His grace because His love for us erases the sin, not just covers it but truly erases it. He sent His Son to erase our sin by washing it away with His blood. We are not to erase a fellow Christians sins against us with blood but we need to love as He does and forgive the sins. Not just once but as Jesus told His disciples, 70 X 7, in other words, every time they do sin against us. After all wouldn’t we hope that they show us the same grace through love? Wouldn’t that kind of loving in the Church draw the world to the great Giver of grace?
Making It Personal
Has another Christian done or said something to you that you need to forgive them for? Have you done anything to another Christian that you should ask their forgiveness for? Have you ever witnessed this kind of grace among other Christians?
Making It Personal Kids
Has anyone ever done something bad to you? How does God want us to forgive that person? Have you ever done something bad to someone else? What do you need to say to that person?
Father, thank You for Your example of grace. Grow in us the love for each other that will make us into the ambassadors You want us to be in this world. In Jesus’ name, amen.