Having Charity & Loving Others
John 13, verses 34 & 35
34 A new commandment I [Jesus] give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
1 Corinthians Chapter 13, verses 1-8 and verse 13
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. … 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Colossians 3, verse 14
And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
WHAT IT MEANS TO ME
It is easy to be harsh towards other people; it often comes naturally. It is easy to overlook the fact that other people are in need, are suffering and are struggling. However, it is even more heinous to be harsh with those that are also God’s children. Let me not forget that God has placed brotherly love as a defining characteristic of his people. When I look at others, who are causing me difficulty and stress, or who are just not behaving as I think they should, I should be reminded that God wants me to love them before I love myself and wants me to exercise love before I exercise knowledge. He wants me to demonstrate his love, through me, before I exercise any spiritual gifts I may have. God wants this brotherly love to be an inward part of me, not just an act I put on for other people. Before I ever respond to anyone, let me be reminded of the meaning of this chapter. Let me remember that the greatest joy I will ever know will come from God who gives freely and that God wants me to exhibit brotherly love. He considers this to be more important than faith and hope.
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