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TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
TO CHEW ON: "Love...does not seek its own..." 1 Corinthians 13:5.
Adrian Plass tells this story of an epiphany he had when he was ten:
"As I sat on the front seat of the big green Maidstone and District bus, a sixpenny bit and a penny clutched in my hand ready for the conductor, a phrase I had read earlier repeated itself over and over in my mind.
'Everybody is I.'
[...] Suddenly I stiffened. ...The true meaning of those three simple but puzzling words had exploded into my mind, destroying the illusion that I was the center of the universe, and leaving me to cope, for the rest of my life, with the burden of knowledge. Every one of those people down there in the street, walking the pavements, driving cars, waiting for buses — every single one, whatever they were, whatever they looked like, whatever I thought of them, was as important to themselves as I was to myself! - Adrian Plass, From Growing Up Pains to the Sacred Diary, p. 20,21 (emphasis added).
In our quest to learn about love, to learn how to love, the realization that "Everybody is I" is a good place to start. As we, in our imaginations, put ourselves into other's shoes, it becomes much easier to suffer long, be kind, humble, polite, patient, etc.
It is the other-centered love we see emanating from Jesus when He speaks to the Samaritan woman, cuddles and blesses babies, parties with tax collectors, names for the Rich Young Ruler the one thing that keeps him from being a follower, and in so many other incidents does the thing that communicates God's love.
The miracle of Christ in us is that through His indwelling Spirit, He can communicate through us to those around us the love Jesus showed to those around Him when He lived on earth.
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to learn the love lessons of 1 Corinthians 13, not only intellectually but practically, as I put them into action in my life. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.