With many people looking forward, attempting to fulfill a newly made resolution for 2014, I figured that I would go the other way, back into 2013, and share the biggest thing I learned last year with regards to my walk with Christ.
A few months ago my pastor illuminated a very profound point which has changed my thinking. At a Wednesday night Bible study, while going through 1 Corinthians, we read through the following:
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
My pastor then summarized with an example:
“Is it proper to rebuke a brother? Of course. But even if the rebuke is proper, yet not done in love, the attempted correction is void. It’s of no value.”
That hit me square in the face!
Now, I have read this portion of scripture many times before, but the light bulb just never went on. My pastor really made me think. After he said the above summarization, it had suddenly occurred to me that I had on most occasions attempted to correct brethren with proper truth, but I had often not erected it on a foundation of love. In other words, I was guilty of many times erecting truthful correction, regarding whatever topic, on a sand foundation of restless impatience.
I am a very black and white thinker. I have a tendency to focus more on truth, leaving grace or love out of the equation. I admit that I already knew this weakness of mine, but I had never really faced it. The fact that the truth I was proclaiming was often not given in love was a big wake up call for me.
As a result of giving truth without love, I actually voided said truth?
Today, my pastor challenged us during his sermon to examine ourselves, as Paul does in 2 Corinthians 13:5, to see whether or not we are in the faith. He gave us a great way of monitoring where our motivation is at, at any given moment. He challenged us to simply remember to ask ourselves a direct question:
“Is this pleasing to God?”
It’s pretty convicting, and it works.
I’ll leave you with this encouraging message from Paul:
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
May we (Christians) nourish the body with loving truth.
Godspeed, to the brethren!
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