January 19 – Best Year Yet – Relationships: The Good and the Bad

Read 1 Corinthians  13:4-7

As every new year approaches, we often reflect on many areas of our lives. One large area of our lives that takes on reflection is that of our relationships.

I will be the first to admit that there are people out there in the world that I would rather prefer not to be around. People who I have had an acquaintance with that I tend to shy away from due to differences of personality or even beliefs. Then, there are the relationships that I reflect on, trying to see how I can spend more time with those individuals, how I can be a pillar for them, invest in them, love on them.

Then, I read the verses Paul writes to the Church of Corinth. Now this church, this body of believers, had so many issues inter-personally and spiritually. So much seemed to be going wrong that Paul needed to shed light on; one area was their relationship with each other, as the body, and their relationships with unbelievers.

We hear this verse so often, mostly at marriage ceremonies, but it is one portion of scripture that seems to be memorized more than others… I wonder why?

There is a timeless truth that love is not just an emotion but an action, and, here, Paul is conveying what the action of love to ALL looks like. The action directly correlates with who God is. If God is love, and we are called to be Christ to those around us, believing and lost, shouldn’t we take into account the verb behind the word?  Not just to the people we prefer, but to the ones we don’t prefer.  With each description written out in these verses, a person comes to mind and the conviction from the Lord is to pray for this person and exemplify Christ is some way, shape, or form.

Now, this alone takes emotional and mental growth, but,  I believe, because YOU were made in the spiritual image of God, that you – that WE – have the ability to access the kind of love Paul writes about.

So I implore you, I challenge myself, with each word of what love is. Write down a name that comes to mind. Pray for them. Access the Spirit of Christ within you and figure out a way to begin or continue being Jesus to them.

For those people who we don’t have a relationship that brings a smile, it will be hard before better; but at least we are making a step in the direction of the light that is narrow and making 2019 the best year yet.

Kelly Lawson

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