November 19, 2018

Live Alive {Day 19}: Insisting On Its Own Way

Previous posts in the Live Alive series can be found here.

1 Corinthians 13:5 says love does not insist on its own way.

Chew on that for a minute.  Now think about how you have insisted on your own way in the last 24 hours.  I am right there with you, if your answer is, "More than I'd like to admit."  But love offers us another option: the path of not insisting on one's own way.  Please note that the verse doesn't say that love never expresses a desire or need, but simply that the character of love is not to insist on getting her way.

Hm.  This is very interesting considering God's character and how He relates to us.  The Bible says He is love.  It also says He is not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)  Love does not insist on its own way, though, so He never forces us into repentance, despite His deep, loving longing to redeem us.

In my natural way, the way of self, I want God to violate His nature and save everyone.  I want all people to experience new life in Christ!  But  real love doesn't function like that.  And if the Lord can exercise patience in a matter of such importance, perhaps I can let go of my need to choose what restaurant we go to for dinner.

We build this love muscle by developing the habit of hearing the needs and desires of others, and placing them before our own.  We won't always choose theirs over ours, but the more often we do the more natural it will become and the less it will hurt.

Not getting one's own way hurts because, in our sinful nature, we are hardwired to put ourself first.  Not doing that feels like dying a little.  How in the world does that help us live alive? Every time we trust the Lord and look to the interests of others, though it may hurt for a while, we are expressing the newness of life that dwells within us.  And over time, God transforms our hearts and minds to delight in meeting others' needs and desires.  Yes, God can do that!

Also, let's face it, insisting on our own way is not much more than a toddler-style tantrum, even if it is quiet, bitter sulking about not feeling valued or about a prayer not answered as we hoped, rather than actual kicking and screaming.  Ain't no body wanna be refining those skills!  Alive people are maturing into their Christ-likeness and willing to feel the pain so another can feel the love. Sounds a lot like what our Savior did for us.  The love of God brought us to this point, and He will carry us through.  Let's be obedient and allow God amaze us with how He provides for us.

Build that love muscle for His glory!

Heather 💛

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