Day 25 – Cardio Training

Last week we started talking about getting encouraging as we looked at 1 Corinthians 13:4 and talked about love being patient. We also talked about living as adjectives in His story instead of trying to live as nouns. He is the noun, and we were created to be adjectives. Today we are going to look at 1 Corinthians 13:5 and talk about love being kind.

Scripture Reading

Ephesians 2:4-7 (MSG)
4 Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, 5 he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! 6 Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. 7 Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

1.) Love is kind

A definition of the kindness of God is – The steadfast love that maintains relationships through gracious aid in times of need.

Ephesians 2:4-7 (NIV)
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

A definition of kindness as a human virtue – helpfulness to others prompted by an experience of God’s redemptive love.

Colossians 3:12 (NIV)
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Here again, we have that whole noun, adjective thing at work. The reason we are unkind is often because we are wrapped up in ourselves and see everything from a very limited perspective. How does this affect me? Once again Paul gives us some ideas of what kindness looks like by looking at some of the things that love isn’t.

1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)
5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

2.) It is not rude

Are you aware of your own rudeness? Do you catch yourself being rude? Do you ever say “I don’t mean to be rude but ……” as though somehow this is an excuse for being rude. If someone says I don’t mean to be rude but.. to you, you need to kindly go (cover ears and go lalalalalalal). You are helping them. When you feel the need or the urge to be rude, you need to quit looking to blame it on someone else and ask God to do a quick check on what your problem is. Some times there is a tendency to be rude to people who are serving you in some way. These people should never be your targets. They should be the people you are going out of your way to encourage. Listen to this advice from the Proverbs:

Proverbs 30:32-33 (MSG)
32 If you’re dumb enough to call attention to yourself by offending people and making rude gestures, 33 Don’t be surprised if someone bloodies your nose. Churned milk turns into butter; riled emotions turn into fist fights.

3.) It is not self-seeking

Philippians 2:3-5 (MSG)
3 Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. 4 Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. 5 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself.

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of Himself. Remember, He is our model for life and ministry. In a culture consumed with selfish ambition and vain conceit, we should be thinking about what Jesus would do all the time. We want to live like He lives, love like He loves, see like He see, and think like He thinks.

4.) It is not easily angered

It doesn’t say love never gets angry, there is an appropriate anger.

Romans 12:19-21 (MSG)
19 Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” 20 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. 21 Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

A few months ago I got a letter in the mail from one of our neighbors who was complaining about the noise at night. I went through a range of self righteous indignation and then I had an idea. Rather than react out of self righteous anger, let’s do something proactive. So we made baskets of cupcakes and cookies and delivered them to as many of the surrounding neighbors as we could. The guy who wrote the letter apologized and quite a few of our neighbors came and visited the church the next Sunday.

5.) It keeps no record of wrongs

I like this paraphrase of the verse:

1 Corinthians 13:5 (MSG)
5 Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others. It reminds me of the sin scale that we have talked about. This is how we are supposed to handle it:

Luke 6:37-38 (NIV)
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

This kind of love is what we need in order to encourage the world.

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