Monthly Archives: September 2014

God’s Love Lived Out


According to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, love is …

  1. Patient – longsuffering, puts up with a lot before it suffers
  2. Kind – gentle, affectionate
  3. Not envious – at peace and contentment with others
  4. Does not boast – does not talk of themselves
  5. Not proud – humble, does not need to be heard
  6. Does not dishonor others – to esteem, show respect
  7. Not self-seeking – encourages others’ best interest
  8. Not easily angered – not edgy, but soft with others
  9. Keeps no record of wrongs – no inventory of wrongs done, everyone is a new friend every meeting
  10. Does not delight in evil – wants good, even to bad people
  11. Rejoices with the truth – honest
  12. Always protects – lit. “cover by silence,” or “keep confidential”
  13. Always trusts – believes in the good of others
  14. Always hopes – confidence in others’ future
  15. Always perseveres – continues in spite of set backs
  16. Never fails – victorious

My interpretation of these verses is, a person who lives in love does not get ruffled, but is gentle, and at peace with others’ successes.  The loving are humble, good with being in the background, and highly respecting those around them.  They help other people excel, and are not edgy but soft with others.  They treat others as if they had never done wrong.  They want every ones’ good, and they cover for their weaknesses.  It believes people want to be good, is confident in their future, and never gives up on them.

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Fruit of Compassion

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,  and self-control.”

It is interesting that three out of the nine fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5:22-23 are very similar.  The fifth in the list is gentleness (KJV; NIV & NASB, use “kindness”).  The sixth in the list is goodness.  The eighth is meekness (KJV; NIV & NASB use “gentleness”).  These fruit I call fruit of compassion. 

Do we see these characteristics around us, or the opposites? 
The opposite of gentleness or kindness is abrasiveness or rudeness.
The opposite of goodness is meanness or heartless.
The opposite of meekness or gentleness is aggressiveness.

These opposites are what the world offers.  (The fruit of the world are called “the deeds of the flesh” and are listed in Galatians 5:19-21.)  I know some people that are great examples of gentleness, goodness and kindness.  These people are refreshing to be around.  But what about the Church as a whole?  Do the believers in the Church act more gentle, good, and kind, or abrasive, mean, and aggressive?  It seems that most believers act in a way that is opposite of God’s way.

Of course, there will be times when someone will have to correct someone or be firm in establishing boundaries.  For instance, we should not allow someone to abuse us or abuse others.  Allowing that kind of behavior is not being gentle or kind.  That is codependency.  Abuse requires serious emotional and spiritual help.

What I am encouraging is that we allow these fruit of the Spirit to dramatically expand in our lives.  I think we should do something wild and go way over the edge and practice copious amounts of gentleness, goodness and kindness!  It is amusing to think that when we act this way, many will think something is wrong with us!  Unfortunately, it is because these characteristics are rare in our times.  Let’s profusely practice gentleness, kindness, goodness, and compassion and see what God does in us and through us!

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