June 3, 2013

The Walk of Love through the Way of Love
We continue our comparison of the famous LOVE passage in 1 Corinthians 13 with the ONE ANOTHERS found in Scripture as we discover how the way of love helps us to walk in love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5
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.
LOVE is not irritable or resentful so
WALK being kind and forgiving.
irritable paroxyno – to easily provoke, irritate, arouse to anger, or to exasperate.
resentful logizomai and kakos – to put together with one’s mind, to count, to occupy oneself with calculations; bad or worthless, wicked, vicious in heart, conduct and character; to be hurtful or harmful. Resentful is actually two words translating “think no evil”. 
Since love is not resentful, it means it does not count up wrongdoings. Instead we see in Ephesians that we are to be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving toward one another.
Ephesians 4:32
Be kind to one another, tenderheartedforgivingone another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Kind – chrestos – to furnish what is needed, good, gentle, and useful toward others.
Tenderhearted – eusplagchnos – compassionate, sympathetic, full of compassion for the ills of others.
Forgive– charizomai – to grant forgiveness, graciously to restore one to another.       
When I walk irritable and resentful withunforgiveness in my heart and nursing a grudge or hurt, I am easily provoked to anger by almost anything.  I am easily exasperated.  I tend to occupy myself with rehearsing the hurt and being resentful and counting the ways I’d like to exact revenge.  But God calls me to this love-walk that is about being kind and forgiving.  Let’s clear up a few things about forgiveness.
Forgiveness does not:*
  • Release offenders from need to take personal responsibility
  • Absolve offenders from guilt
  • Deliver offender from consequences of actions
  • Erase the past
  • Releases offender from the consequences of their behavior as it affects us.
  • Takes time.  We begin the process by admitting our hurt, feeling the pain and voicing the outrage.
  • Is an act of mercy and grace.
“Forgiveness is like the growth of a tree that envelops a wound in the trunk, so that what once threatened the tree’s life becomes its place of greatest strength.”
-*Gerald Sittser, Love One Another: Becoming the Church Jesus Longs For
Forgiveness frees me from the “yuck” of irritability and resentment and bitterness that takes root in my heart when I choose to hold onto an offense.  There is freedom, joy and contentment in forgiveness.  And I have to remind myself…I have been forgiven MUCH by the grace and mercy of God.
I think the Word speaks for itself this week:
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. 
This love-walk is always about the overflow of my love relationship with Christ.  He accepts me as I am and yet He changes me completely for my good and His glory! And in this I find freedom, joy and contentment.

Women’s Bible Study Teacher

This post first appeared on the blog, susancady.com, ©2013