06 Feb Considerate, Compassionate, and Controlled
February 6, 2015
[Love] does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered…
—1 Corinthians 13:5
In 1 Corinthians 13, the apostle Paul continues his discussion of the negative characteristics of love in verse 5.
First, “Love does not act unbecomingly.” In other words, don’t be rude to other people; don’t be overly severe with them. Of course, we have to stand for the truth at times. And when we stand for truth that will turn off some people. But many people have been turned off to Christianity, not because of the offense of the Gospel but because of the offensiveness of other Christians. We need to speak the truth, but we need to speak it with love.
Next, “Love does not seek its own.” The people in the Corinthian church always wanted to be upfront; they wanted to have the upfront spiritual gifts. They wanted to be first in line at the Agape Feast on Sunday nights to make sure they got their food before it ran out. But Paul says that a person who truly loves does not seek his own rights. Nothing causes more friction in a family, in a friendship, or in a church than when people put their own rights above the rights of other people.
Finally, “Love is not provoked.” One person has translated this to mean: love does not fly into a temper fit. There is such a thing as a righteous anger. This verse doesn’t mean you never get angry. Remember Paul, in Galatians 1, got very angry when he heard about false teachers who were deceiving the Galatian church. He was possessive when it came to the purity of the Gospel. Likewise, Jesus chased the moneychangers out of the temple. He had a jealous anger for the holiness of God and God’s institutions.
Let’s admit it: most of the time, we get angry and our anger is not righteous anger. Our anger is because we’re upset that our rights were violated, not because we’re concerned about the things of God.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Love Connection,” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.