Kindness Speaks Volumes – Love is Persistent
Key Bible Verse: Christ’s love has the first and last word in everything we do. – 2 Corinthians 5:14
Dig Deeper: 2 Corinthians 5: 11-21
In today’s devotional, Paul explains why “a life of self-pleasing” was impossible for him to live, for “the love of Christ controls us” (today’s Key Bible Verse, ESV). The word “controls” can communicate two ideas.
On the one hand, it can mean compulsion, in which case Paul is suggesting that love somehow pushes us or motivates us to action on behalf of others. On the other hand, control can mean a form of restraint, in which case it suggests the idea that love somehow restrains us from being selfish. Murray Harris writes, “Christ’s love is a compulsive force that leaves believers with no option but to live for God and Christ.”
I have encountered devout Christians who had once been active in Christian service but then suffered a deep disappointment or a setback, such as the inexplicable breakup of a relationship.
In their pain they say something like this to themselves, “I have served others long enough, and now I must look after myself.” Yes, there can be value in refraining from active service to take time to heal and restore your emotional strength. But at some point, the path to health and healing leads a follower of Christ to return to serving others.
—Ajith Fernando in Reclaiming Love
My Response: This week, I will seek to be aware of times I act selfishly, putting my own needs ahead of the needs of others.
Adapted from Reclaiming Love (Zondervan, 2013)