So I gotta admit… this is my first post in 2016. It’s been a crazy few months of life, family, and projects. I am excited to get back to blogging regularly – especially in regard to some of the things God has been teaching me. A big part of that has been what I’ve been learning has come through my study of 1 Corinthians. It never ceases to amaze me how alive and active God’s Word continues to be in my life.
Here is small teaser of the overarching theme of living love. In the coming weeks I will continue to post some of the truths God has been working on in my life. I pray they will resonate in your as well!
Living love when we disagree sounds good on paper, but it isn’t easy. We’re different—we have different personalities, preferences, and perspectives. And we can struggle to get along, especially when we don’t see eye to eye. In the course of a day, we can find ourselves disagreeing or debating with family, friends, coworkers, and even strangers on social media about everything from food choices and parenting styles to politics and religion. Often we find ourselves divided—even as Christians. How can we work out our differences with humility and grace, always showing the love of Christ, while still remaining true to what we believe?
Paul urged the church in Corinth to “be of one mind, united in thought and purpose” (1 Corinthians 1:10). He essentially called them to live love – even when they disagreed. Chapter 13, known as the love chapter, wasn’t included to be a nice poem for weddings. Instead, it was written to urge Christians living in a pagan and diverse culture to approach one another with the love of Christ. God’s Word calls us to do the same.
Regrettably, we often exercise the opposite of that kind of love, choosing instead to keep a record of wrongs or make rude comments—whether in person or on social media. The truth is, we can never demonstrate this supernatural love and kindness with those who disagree with us apart from Jesus. Paul acknowledged this truth, mentioning the name of Jesus eight times in the first nine verses of his letter alone! He knew that we desperately need Christ at the center of our personal lives, including our interactions with others. Our unity comes only through Christ and His love.
Here are some of the main questions this study brought up for me. How can we:
- Deal with our differences in a loving way without compromising our convictions
- Achieve harmony while maintaining our diversity
- Consider the ways that the surrounding culture impacts our beliefs
- Agree to disagree on matters of preference and opinion
- Humbly listen to others with views different than our own
- Embrace ambiguity in some areas, acknowledging that our view is often partial and incomplete
- Demonstrate to all that love is the greatest thing, which never fails
I’m wondering… how have you worked through some of these issues? Have you noticed that sometimes Christians can behave unkindly towards one another… especially online?
I’d love to hear how you have seen success and failure in the Christian community when it comes to living love in the midst of disagreement. Feel free to leave me a comment with any insights or thoughts that come to your mind!
Now let’s bring it a little closer to home. Think about that person who irritates you the most right now. How is God calling you to live His love toward them today? Yep… we can’t do it without Jesus at the center of our lives can we? Know that I am praying that every person who reads this post would have supernatural power to live love in their midst of their disagreements!