This past weekend I went home to Lexington, Virginia for a friend’s wedding and to visit my parents. My parents have been having “home church” lately with some close family friends that used to go to our church and I got to experience it and contribute a little. I really liked it! I go to a big church right now, so experiencing something different was refreshing- especially with a small group of people including my parents and another family I’ve known for YEARS, so I felt comfortable enough to share and contribute. Which probably wouldn’t be the case with most people. I’m pretty introverted and tend to only share and contribute with people I feel really comfortable with. 🙂
Anyways! My dad started off talking about Luke 8: 3-14 where John the baptist was baptizing people and telling them to repent of their sins, and that their lives should show the fruits of repentance. We noted that the specific fruits of repentance were different for each group of people and we were chatting about what ours might be and how we can figure out what those might be for us individually. I mentioned that it reminded me of the fruits of the spirit as well as 1 Corinthians 13. We often associate 1 Corinthians 13 with romantic love, quoting it at weddings and such, but its not often used as a verse for practical application in our lives. I’ve always liked to use this verse for pinpointing flaws in myself. It really comes in handy! Everyone in the group seemed to really like this idea so I thought sharing it here might be helpful for others!
I’ve specifically found this verse to be helpful in relationships. Whether its family, friends, your spouse or a total stranger, we all have interactions with people that don’t exactly go so well where we know we didn’t handle something the way we should have. OR a lot of times when we have unpleasant interactions with another person, we like to point the finger at the other person and what they’ve done wrong, ignoring the way we’ve acted, or something we’ve said or done. Next time this happens to you, think about 1 Corinthians 13! It helps point the finger back at yourself instead of the other person, because in any relationship or even stranger-interaction, its a 2-way street and we need to only worry about ourselves and what we’ve done so we can admit it, correct it, and hopefully do less of it in the future. 😉
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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” Specific ones that often jump out to me personally are “keeps no record of wrongs” and “not easily angered.” I can also always use a little extra patience. 🙂 I seriously believe that if you use this verse to constantly check yourself, you will be so much better for it. Ask yourself at the end of the day, or specifically after an unpleasant interaction with another person: “Was I patient? Was I kind? Have I been envious? Have I boasted? Am I prideful? Was I rude? Have I been self-seeking? Have I been easily angered? Have I been keeping track of someone’s wrongdoings? Do I delight in evil? Do I rejoice in the truth? Do I protect, trust, hope and persevere?” There is usually always at least one thing from that list that we didn’t quite do if we’re being honest with ourselves at the end of the day. This verse really helps me to remember little things that I otherwise would not have thought of. I need to remember this verse and use it more often, so I’ve designed a little printable below that can be hung on the fridge or inside your bathroom cabinet or wherever you will see it to be a constant reminder. Feel free to print it off and hang it up if you think it might help you too!
One other point… After I shared about this verse, my dad chimed in to reminded us of 1 John 4:8 that says “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” God is love. So you could also recite 1 Corinthians 13 and replace “love” with “God” and it would be true. So if we want to become more Christ-like, this is a pretty great place to start. I think it is my favorite verse now.