May 20, 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.
LOVE does not envy or boast and is not arrogant or rude so WALK showing honor and preferring one another.
Envy is the word zeloo meaning to be heated or to boil with envy, hatred or anger.
Boastful is the word perpereuomai meaning to boast one’s self; extolling one’s self excessively, a braggart.
Arrogant is the word physioo meaning to puff up, swell up, to inflate.
Rude is the word aschemoneo meaning to behave in an ugly, indecent matter; to act unbecomingly.
I can relate to them all at one time or another in my life!
But Romans 12:9-11instructs us to walk loving one another with brotherly love and to outdo one another in showing honor.
When we show honor it means we let others know we value and esteem them.  It is the idea of showing deference or reverence to someone.
Outdo does not mean we seek to “one up” others but rather in the original language it is a word that meansto prefer. It means to go before and lead the way by example and to show mutual respect.
In Philippians 2:3-5 we are given a great example of showing honor and preferring one another.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, 
but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Have this mind among yourselves, which is 
yours in Christ Jesus.
What follows in Philippians 2:5-11 is a description of the mindset or attitude of Christ we are to imitate.  It includes the ideas of humility, servanthood and being willing to give of ourselves for others.  Envy, boasting, arrogance and rudeness are not any part of this description of the mind of Christ!
It is not hard for me to look to my own interests on a daily basis.  My flesh makes that easy and natural.  And the world tells us we are entitled and to look out for number one.  But that runs contrary to the Word of God and the heart of God.  Showing honor and preferring others requires a change in my natural tendencies and to the voice of the world.  If we look back to the beginning of Romans 12 we find the answer to overcoming our flesh:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the 
mercies of God, to present your bodies as a 
living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, 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.
In order to change my thinking, I need to renew my mind.  This is done as I get into the Word of God.  His Word and His Spirit change me from the inside out.  It’s like a daily detox to the patterns of worldly thinking and behaving that I find myself immersed in every day.
“You can give up the need to compete in the world, when you accept being complete in Christ.”   -Ann Voskamp
Further in Romans 12:16 we are told to live in harmony with one another and not to be haughty or wise in our own sight. 
The Lexham English Bible translates Romans 12:16 this way:
Think the same things toward one another; do not think arrogantly, but associate with the lowly.  Do not be wise in your own sight. (LEB)
As the body of Christ we are to have the same mind. We are to be one. Romans 15:5-6 gives us the purpose for being of one mind.
Now may the God of patient endurance and of encouragement grant you to be in agreement with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that with one mind you may glorify with one mouth the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
With one mind and one mouth glorifying the Father-not boasting in ourselves or our accomplishments- but glorifying Him in all things!
What would the watching world think if they observed us leading the way by example as we showed honor and preference to one another, looking to the interests of others instead of our own?  It’s worth finding out!

Women’ Bible Study Teacher

This post first appeared on the blog,, ©2013