15 Questions from I Corinthians 13 (Love Chapter) For Self-Evaluation

Most people have heard 1 Corinthians 13 at weddings and maybe a sermon at church.  But it’s also a great parameter to assess our own “love” for others.

#1 – “Love Is Patient” – Am I giving others the same room to make mistakes as I want them to give me?

#2 – “Love Is Kind” – Do the people that I spend time with actually like being around me?

#3 – “It Does Not Envy” – Am I automatically jealous of anyone who has a great idea?  Do I rejoice when others are rejoicing or do I wish they would be struggling like me?

#4 – ‘It Does Not Boast” – Do I feel like I always need to remind people of my previous victories?  (If we are obsessed with the past, then we’re not advancing towards the future!)

#5 – “It Is Not Proud” – Do I feel that I am the only one that has all of the answers?

#6 – “It Is Not Rude” – How am I treating those who serve me?  Do I treat the waiter/waitress, customer service rep., and others with the respect I would show my own family?

#7 – “It Is Not Self Seeking” – Who is this about–really?

#8 – “It Is Not Easily Angered” – Are people afraid to bring me information that is true and accurate because they know I will lose my mind and begin to yell?  (Don’t shoot the mailman!)

#9 – “It Keeps No Record of Wrongs” – Do I remind people of their past failures or encourage them in their current condition?

#10 – “Love Does Not Delight in Evil but Rejoices in the Truth” – Can people be honest and open with me?

#11 – “It Always Protects” – Do I have the back of my co-workers and friends?  It’s very discouraging to have a relationship with someone who demands loyalty but will not extend it.

#12 – “Always Trusts” – Do I believe others (the staff at church and my wife at home) can make day-to-day decisions without my input?

#13 – “Always Hopes” – Do I always automatically assume the worst or the best about people?

#14 – “”Always Perseveres” – Am I quick to give up on people after they make one mistake, or am I willing to teach them through it?

#15 – “Love Never Fails” – Am I failing others?  Or am I loving them?

2 Facts About Pain

#1 Our capacity for pain is greater than our capacity for joy. Does an experience of great joy prolong its sway through the long months? No. But an experience of great pain never seems to exhaust itself–it may continue for years.  That means our capacity for pain is deeper than our capacity for joy. So the undertone of life is one of sorrow. So our nature is in unison with the message of the cross.

#2 Pain is at the root of life and growth. It is through suffering that we are born. It is through suffering that we are fed. It is through blood that we are free. It is through pain–infinite and unutterable–that you and I are ransomed and redeemed.

Praying With Confidence

Hebrews 4:16,

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

God delights in our asking because we are His children.  It draws us to Him in the dependency of the parent-child relationship.

It’s an insult to God NOT to come asking.

St. Theresa of Avila once declared, “You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him.”

Why Are We More Sensitive to Pain and Suffering than People 200 years ago?

The problem of pain and suffering is a modern one.  In antiquity there is no discussion of this.  Even Job only deals with why do the righteous suffer?  Why are we more sensitive to pain than humans were 200 years ago?

Two reasons:

  1. Our sensitivity to pain springs partly from our new power to escape it. We tend to accept the inevitable.  We used to think pain was inevitable but thanks to medical science, we look on pain quite differently.
  2. The re-discovery that Jesus was fully man in modern theology.  See, Christ was sensitive to pain.  It was His passion to cure it when He met it.  For Him, it was a terrible reality.

What It Means To “Pray in Jesus’ Name”

Jesus wanted us to pray in His name.  What a privilege!  He is trusting that His honor and interests are safe in our hands.  Consider what it would mean to place your interests, money, home, EVERYTHING in the hands of another?

3 phrases in particular help us understand what it means to pray in Jesus’ name:

  1. We are authorized to be Christ’s representatives.  We are really ambassadors of Christ.  That’s a privilege and honor and great responsibility.
  2. We come to God on the basis of Christ’s merit.  Our access depends solely on what He has done.
  3. We come asking in accord with Christ’s will.  We have the mind of Christ in us, so what we ask is what Jesus would ask.