“A Challenging Exercise”
By Zach Wood
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
For the past few months in our small group bible studies here at church, we’ve been going through Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It has been amazing to talk about God’s crazy love by sending Jesus Christ to die for us and how, in response to that, our love by to Him should be just as crazy back.
I remember one week talking about this passage and how we see a wonderful picture of what love should be. This chapter is a powerful chapter written by Paul to the church in Corinth. None of us completely understand what love really is, especially the love Jesus Christ had for us when He went to the Cross.
Talking about this passage, it reminds me of one chapel session back at bible college one Friday morning in our small group gathering. The professor in our group mentioned this passage to us. He then proceeded to tell us that we should try putting our own name where “love” shows up. He then asked us to read the passage and see how far we get.
This was a challenge I have never forgotten about. Every time I see that passage, I am reminded of his challenge to us. Needless to say, I didn’t get past the first part of the passage. When I read, “Zach is patient” to myself, I just stopped. I was already done! I have never been a patient person. It’s one quality about myself that I would do anything to change, even with a magic wand!!! However, I do not have a magic wand, so I must ask God each day to give me strength and guidance to think through situations and do my best to practice patience. Patience really shows love.
As I read through this passage, I truly see qualities I want to have. I want to be patient and kind. I don’t want to be envious, boastful, or proud. I don’t want to be rude, self-seeking, or easily angered. I don’t want to be known for keeping a record of wrongs. I don’t want to delight in evil, but in truth.
So, how do I do these things? How do we accomplish these qualities? It’s a simple answer, but requires a lot of work. These things come from a daily, close relationship with God. Reading His Word and being devoted and committed to being a disciple. It is a daily journey for all of us.
I ask you to try going through that passage and putting your name in and see how far you get and then ask God for strength, guidance and wisdom to attain these qualities. It is a challenging exercise and only possible with God’s work daily through you and I.