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'Hey, I'm really not in the mood to put up with that from you today!'
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Does that sound all too familiar? Either from a friend, relative, or perhaps you? It's such a common phrase or variation of a phrase, we seldom think twice; passing it off as another way of saying 'I'm tired' or 'I've had a bad day'. But one of the most selfish and un-Christ-like things we can say actually stems from a common mentality and ‘personal right’ the world encourages us to react with and it is 100% selfish and honestly, Satanic. That may be a strong word, but when you think about it, what we are really saying is that we don't feel like trying to understand another’s point of view. We are asserting that we are #1 and others aren't important enough to sympathise with or take time for because our moods come first. Is this love? Is this exercising Christ's actions towards us? Is this loving your neighbour? What's unconditional about that reaction? We are taught to love one another self-sacrificially by Scripture...and yet so often we find ourselves defining the limits of our love depending on our own feelings, emotions, moods, or even actions. Is love sex? Is love a feeling we get when we like someone? Is love the happiness we feel when they give us a gift? Actually it’s none of these. ‘Love is God. God is love.’
What do we mean by this? First we need to break down God’s definition of love. What better way of doing this by going to the LOVE chapter in 1 Corinthians 13. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." 1 Corinthians 13:4
Remember, you are not in competition with one another whether you are siblings, spouses, friends, or even co-workers or neighbours. There should be no envy or jealousy. What about pride? If you're thinking you don't have a pride problem, think again. Pride is something all of us struggle with on some level. Pride will cause you not to admit you’re wrong. Pride will even make you believe you are always right. Pride will keep you from apologizing when you have offended.Pride will even make you say, "I'm not prideful."
‘So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.’ 1 Peter 2:1-25 ESV
In verse 5 we read that love "is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs." In other words, love is not inconsiderate, or always thinking "but if I do that, what am I going to get in return?" That's not God's definition of love. Furthermore, love is not agitated at the drop of a dime, and it has a short memory when it comes to the sins of others. If you are constantly reminding someone of their past sins and things they did to hurt you, you are, in Biblical terms, keeping a record of wrongs.
In verse 7 we read that love "always protects, always trusts, always hopes, [and] always perseveres." This means love puts up with everything, and still trusts, is hopeful, and enduring. Love is against jealousy, (whether its jealousy of spouse, or jealousy of your neighbours car). Suffering wrongs done to you no matter how big or small is a key factor of true dedicated Christ-like love.. Think about what was done to Christ. Did He say, "I'm not in the mood to put up with your lies and hate-speech and discrimination today!"?
Verse 8 says "Love never fails. But where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away."
Everything will someday come to an end, including the spiritual gifts that God has given to the church. However, love will never end. Knowing that real love never ends, should help you understand there is no such thing as "falling out of love...." or.. "falling in love" for that matter.
‘All suppressing of Satan's temptations and lies are quickly being rationalised away in the name of being 'our own man' when in actuality we are Christ's! We are not our own; rather Christ's who lives within us!’
Christian Marriage Today sums it up. God is love (1 John 4:16). And because He lives in you, He expects you to die to your flesh and demonstrate His unconditional love to others. He expects you to be a walking and talking definition of His love! But what about the pressures of the world telling us that our faith is all well and good but 'I am #1'. I have to look out for myself...Not being in the mood to put up with someone’s mistakes or shortcomings is acceptable by today’s standards. We are told it’s ok to 'vent' in anger. We are told that when we are wronged or annoyed to 'tell it like it is' and‘let that person know’ that they aren't in our 'cool' category. Whenever we react to someone who isn't making us feel the best we are representing our new self and Christ's image.. therefore, we must, in order to bring glory to His name, stand out from the world and unconditionally love them no matter what they do; no matter how we feel.
Ben Ditzel - Truth Ministries - Los Angeles, CA 91302