Theme of the Week: Friendship
Bible Verse: 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. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a.
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
“I don’t remember that.” That’s not a terribly uncommon phrase for me to utter. My wife is constantly surprised at how many things I do not remember. Neither short- nor long-term memories seem to stick with me the way they probably should.
In some ways this really is a blessing. I don’t remember the good, or the bad. And that has probably helped me get past a few things. Understand, this is not a virtue of mine. It is simply a consequence of poor memory.
But getting beyond things is a quality that Paul says is a trait of love (keeps no record of wrongs). It is one of the nine things that love does not do:
- Does not envy – it doesn’t sacrifice the friendship over jealousy.
- Does not boast – probably doesn’t talk about itself much at all.
- Is not proud – helps us see ourselves with humility and grace.
- Does not dishonour others – there is no malicious gossip about others, no gossip at all.
- Is not self-seeking – does not see others as a way to get good things for myself.
- Is not easily angered – the problems and even insults that may come are water off a duck’s back.
- Keeps no record of wrongs – does not hold a grudge or make someone continue to pay for their offense.
- Does not delight in evil – there is no secret rejoicing over the misfortunes of others
- Never fails – It is there for the long haul and always shows these characteristics.
Between the positives of yesterday’s devotional and the negatives of today, it may be the most honest thing to say that I have never been a friend to anyone in my entire life. This is a high standard!
It is encouraging, in a roundabout way, to remember that Paul wrote this not from an abstract line of reasoning, but because there was a church that was struggling to love and encourage one another. We still battle with our selfish desires, but we have a picture of what our relationships should look like.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for the grace and forgiveness you give me every day.
Reflection: What person in your life do you need to stop one of these behaviors with?
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