Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Corinthians 13:5
“Does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,” – 1 Corinthians 13:5
In this verse, Paul starts off by saying love does not act in ways that are rude or willingly offensive to anyone. It observes good manners at all times. It is never rude, nor does it act like a brute, but is willing to become all things to all men. He does this so that we can save some. Paul, earlier in this letter, explains what He means more completely. “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-22. He uses the Greek word “douloo” which means he has “enslaved himself” to all. In other words, in order to bring some to salvation, he is willing to be a slave to all.
This is the idea Paul uses in our focus verse. In all situations, we should endeavor to act such that we present ourselves in a proper way, pleasing to God, but also not to seek our own way. We must not push our will on others but follow what they desire. This shows that we love them enough to put them first. We must not, as the verse says, seek our own ways above others.
Next, he says that love is not provoked. The meaning here from the Greek is that anyone under the influence of love is not prone to violent anger or exasperation. It is not in the character of someone acting in love to be hasty, excited or overly passionate. We are to be calm, serious and patient, looking soberly at things. This does not mean we cannot have fun. What it does mean is that we remain in control and do not lose our patience but restrain our temper in difficult times.
And lastly, he says love does not consider any wrongs we suffer. This means that love, so far from devising evil against another, excuses the evil which another inflicts on us. Put another way, love does not think about how we can do evil to anyone, and when evil is done to us we do not hold it against the perpetrator(s). Love does not hold anything against anyone, but on the contrary, forgives everyone who does us harm. This is the kind of love Christ has for us. No matter what we have done, or the sins committed, He has forgiven us. This should be our mindset as well. We should automatically forgive and not speak or gossip about it because this may paint a distorted picture of what has actually occurred. All we are doing is focusing on the harm done to us and endeavoring to spread this wrong to many. This is not love, this is revenge.
In closing, God wants us to focus on the good in people and not the bad. He wants us to do what we can to bring the unsaved to Christ and to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ to continue their journey in becoming like Christ. It does not spread the negative attributes of people all over, but lets everyone know the positive things, and aids in their Christian growth. I encourage us all to take these things to heart and let people see the love that is in our heart through our actions. It will amaze us the affect we can have on people for the cause of Christ.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.