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Love is not irritable or resentful

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

What a time to be alive. We have nationwide (worldwide, really) lock downs, some mandatory, and some not, panic, financial woes, people yelling at one another and shouting and beating one another for commodities, and some doing so in the name of Jesus and the greater good. This is in no way a shot at anyone in politics. I am praying for my leaders, and submitting to my authorities unless it comes to obeying God rather than man. What I am asking you to consider alongside me is this: are we showing signs of irritability and restfulness? How often do we see Christians on social media and public platforms cheering when another business is forced to shut its doors, for the greater good? How often do we see people who claim to follow Christ yelling at one another (well, not yelling, because that's not socially acceptable, perhaps strongly wording a complaint is the right term) because they disagree on the best course of action. How often do we trample one another in anger, or decry "that's not fair to me if you choose to do that! What about the greater good?" Consider these two words, irritable and resentful, and their definitions: to be irritable is to be easily annoyed or angry, while to be resentful is to be bitter, indignant, and always demanding one's rights (to be treated fairly). Now, I won't talk politics with you, but I notice a trend: the further one moves away from God, the more irritable and resentful they become. we live in a time right now that is testing this very notion among believers, and we have to ask ourselves if we find ourselves becoming bitter and angry: do I really have or know love at all? To be loving is to put your neighbor before yourself. It is a constant form of sacrifice. It is considering the needs of your neighbors before your own. Where is the place for irritability and resentment? Lover of Jesus, in this time of doubt and uncertainty (it always is until Jesus comes home), let us look to the word and see if we're meeting the criteria for love. Are we patient and kind? Are we seeing the welfare of our neighbors before ourselves? Or are we looking after our own welfare to gain a few more moments in this earth? If it is demanded of me, I hope to say with the apostle Paul "But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24). What if we counted our lives as nothing, as Jesus did for us, as Paul did for so many others? What if we took the Gospel seriously, and loved one another sacrificially? Christian, this is exactly what we must do, and I will pray for you, as you, too pray for me: that we may love without fault. Romans 12

A Living Sacrifice 1I appeal to you therefore, brothers,a by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.b 2Do not be conformed to this world,c but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.d Gifts of Grace 3For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4For as in one body we have many members,e and the members do not all have the same function, 5so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,f with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Marks of the True Christian

9Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,g serve the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.h Never be wise in your own sight. 17Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave iti to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.   Footnotes: a 1 Or brothers and sisters

b 1 Or your rational service

c 2 Greek age

d 2 Or what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God

e 4 Greek parts; also verse 5

f 8 Or gives aid

g 11 Or fervent in the Spirit

h 16 Or give yourselves to humble tasks

i 19 Greek give place

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