Monday, October 3, 2011

Battle Cry of the Unqualified

Our Pastor started a series on "Love." His focus for the series is probably the most famous chapter on the topic of love in the Bible (at least the most popular) I Corinthians Chapter 13. As he preached my mind kept drifting to this chapter.

I've read this many, many times. It's a special chapter to me as well as every other Christian in the world. When I proposed to my wife I had a Bible inscribed with her new married name and this chapter highlighted inside. We have a line by line breakdown of the overly used and "ran-into-the-ground" word "Love."

Here is the most widely read excerpt of I Corinthians 13.4-8a

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

How often Christians say we love but are too afraid to lay our actions against this chapter like a piece of tracing paper. We know instead of a beautiful picture we would be left with incongruous lines and unidentifiable shapes that no more construct a picture than throwing sticks on the ground.

As I read this over and over I continued to think how this is not me. I am so flawed. So I rewrote these verses to reflect my imperfections and need for a Savior who loves like this. I am so unqualified.

"I have zero patience. My kindness has limits. Unfortunately I am envious when I wish I wasn't. I boast. My pride makes more decisions than it should. My rudeness is married to every ounce of my selfishness. Fits of anger leap from my personality with ease. The list of mistakes others have caused me shine in my memory like a spotlight. I don't enjoy wrong-doing but often I am afraid of truth. I can't protect as much as I want. I have trust issues. Too many times I hope for the best but expect the worst. Sometimes I don't even finish what I start.

I usually fail...thank God love doesn't know how."

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