READING: 1 Corinthians 11:2-13:13
Some days it’s just good to review what the Lord has taught you over the years. Today, I’m reminded of how the Lord has continually worked in me to help me love others the way He intends. I have a long way to go, but I pray I’ve responded well to the Spirit’s work in me.
Particularly, I am halted by one description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4—”love does not envy.” The word translated “envy” can also mean a “passionate jealousy,” something akin to an eruption of this negative emotion. The Corinthians needed to hear these words because they were characterized by division over leaders and jealousies over spiritual gifts. Seemingly, they could not rejoice when others experienced blessing, power, or position greater than theirs. They were displeased when others moved beyond them—and that is not Christian love.
Over the years, God has brought me not only to love deeply the students I’m privileged to teach and mentor, but also to rejoice fully when He leads them from me to do greater things than I’ve ever done. I still sometimes grieve the changing nature of these relationships, but I’ve learned that the jealousy Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 13 is not godly love; it’s self-centered and sinful. Real love rejoices with the success of others, even if we’re no longer central to the story.
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Are you envious or jealous of someone else?
DAILY PRAYER: “God, keep transforming my heart to love like 1 Corinthians 13 requires.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Corinthians 14:1-15:58