A few days ago, a salesman from a company called Job Boss called me to discuss our use of Job Boss, which is a software that helps improve your productivity. I had called a few companies regarding this type of software about a year ago, but they were all too expensive and wouldn’t do exactly what we would want, so we stuck with what we use now.
In this case, the salesman said, you already have 3 paid users on the account and would I like to add others?” I patiently said, “we don’t use Job Boss”. He asked if there was someone else that would know more about this, to which I patiently, yet proudly said, “No, I pay the bills and I make the decisions.”
He said, “ok. Talk to your team and find out who is using Job Boss and ….”
At this point my patience is running out. The next couple minutes was almost an exact repeat of the first couple minutes.
My patience finally did run out and the called ended with me hanging up in an irritated fashion.
I am disappointed to say that after 4 chat sessions, 5 calls, and 3 service calls in 5 days from Comcast a couple of my phone calls included some very impatient and rude conversation on my part as well.
And then Wednesday came. I was sitting in the parking lot of my chiropractor for about 30 minutes continuing my “loosely” followed reading plan. The chapter was 1Corinthians 13. Which is commonly know as the “love chapter”. Even non-believers can recite a portion of this chapter because it is read at almost every wedding we attend.
As I read this chapter, which I have several times before, it hit me again; it is almost as if God was saying, “hey dope, can you really get it this time.” God had opened my eyes before to the fact that love is action!
What do I mean that love is action?
I am not going to go through every one of the “love is” OR “love is not” words from 1Corinthians 13 today – but instead I am going to focus on just two. But before I do, let’s consider this – the progression of a Christian. Imagine a flow chart of the life of a Christian:
Living in the world, seemingly fine, or not fine, but either way, not having a real concern for God
You hear the Gospel, you become convicted of your sin, you understand the wickedness of your sin and its consequence
You become aware of God’s Righteousness, His coming Wrath and Judgment
You repent and believe the Gospel
You are living your life in obedience and faith (not perfect, but your focus is on Christ)
What are we to do now?
In one of Paul’s letters he said, “imitate me, as I imitate Christ” – Paul’s message was clear, we are to conform to the likeness of Jesus Christ. We are to be ever increasing in our likeness to Jesus.
Although the wrist bands that took the world be storm a decade ago have watered this down dramatically, we are to filter everything through, “What would Jesus do?”
If we filter everything we do, every interaction we have, through these two things we will be much more like Christ: Love and Humility. If we are to walk as Jesus walked our chief need is love and humility.
Today we are focusing love, but as you can see in reading 1Corinthians 13, love is much more than one simple word, it is the umbrella under which many other words fall. “The action” of love.
The two I want to focus on are:
1) Love is patient
2) Love is not rude
It occurred to me as I read this week that if I am to love like Jesus loved, and I only take these two “action” definitions of what “love is” and what “love is not” – I am not sure if I love like Jesus half the time, in reality, it is probably much less than have the time – and that’s AFTER I have been born-again. If you look at my life as a whole, it would probably be less than 1% of the time! I am by nature impatient and rude!
As I am writing this I started having the thought, if I was to be judged solely on whether or not I was patient or rude in every human interaction from this moment forward, would I make it to Heaven? Maybe, if I died in the next 60 minutes since everyone in my house is asleep.
But that’s the goal, right, to be patient and kind? We are called to grow in the likeness of Christ; and that includes patience, not rudeness – with everyone, with our family, our co-workers, other drivers, people in line, and yes, even cold-calling salesman.
It would be wise for us to do a self-analysis every day; “was I patient in every circumstance today” – was I kind, and not rude in every circumstance today?” If the answer is “no”, we need to confess it to our Lord, ask for forgiveness, and determine what it was that tripped us up, so we can learn from it and prepare our minds to react in a different way the next time.
A Warrior for Christ is battling against the desires of the flesh – that is one of the two “fronts”. One is against the “spiritual forces of evil”; the other is “the desires of our flesh”. Our flesh doesn’t want to be kind to the rude, but instead we want to be rude to the rude. Our flesh doesn’t want to be patient with the annoying. But, if we are to be true Warriors for Christ we must fight that urge – a Warrior for Christ loves; and love is patient, love is not rude.
Help us Lord!