It's funny how certain themes continuously come up in various areas of our lives.
The last two months I've sadly witnessed the beginnings of someone's marriage fall-out and its aftermath. I've repetitively gone to I Corinthians 13 and thought through its practicality and how when practiced daily it makes a marriage stronger instead of weaker. And in the midst of all this, several devotions and books I've been reading have been bringing out some of these same principles, but with friendship. And it made me stop and think about the fact that while we as Christians always think of I Corinthians 13 in terms of marriage, the reality is, it was written for the church and the interaction of fellow believers. Sadly, I often struggle with applying these principles to other believers and friends. My thoughts/interactions/feelings toward others (and not just my spouse, should have these qualities:
- patience...that friend who doesn't catch on to life principles as quickly as I'd like for her to...this applies
- kind ... when I dislike a friend's opinion, or color choice, or idea
- not jealous...when yet another friend gets the good news a child is on the way
- does not brag...struggle with the difference between sharing good news and bragging; definitely a fine line!
- is not arrogant...do I come across as knowing more or being superior to others?
- acts appropriately...a definite struggle for this social misfit
- rejoices with truth and not unrighteousness
- bears all things...
- believes all things...do you ever find yourself questioning in your head what a friend tells you instead of believing them? Do I doubt a friend can truly change/overcome a struggle or weakness?
- hopes all things...when did I become such a cynic?
- Endures all things...how many times have I wanted to just end a friendship rather than push through the unpleasantness of reality? How many times should I listen to the same old lament that is a deep hurt to a friend?
- never fails...
"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love."I long for that day when I can love the same way Christ has loved me.