“. . . but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or clanging cymbal.”  I Corinthians 13:1

Responding in love has got to be one of the most difficult things to do consistently in relationships.  It’s a challenge, at best, to keep the heart and mouth in tune with what the mind knows about responding in love.  Paul says that our voices sound like the reverberating gong if our words are not flowing from a heart and life of love.  That’s irritating!

It goes back to John 15:5 really.  Where Jesus states that He is the vine and we are the branches.  Without the vine the branches have no life.  The branches are part of the vine — the vine flows through them!  Taking that analogy a step further one can visualize the relationship between Christ who lives in and through us and what we look like apart from Him.  So, if He is flowing through us, a fruit of that relationship would be the love we respond in.  Wow!  A true fruit of the Spirit!

But what gets in the way of that love from flowing from within when faced with oppositional moments in my life?  It’s my pride!  Pride acts as a clamp, cutting off the flow of love in and through any relationship.

I’m learning that pride is bigger than I have ever given it credit.  Larger than life itself, pride has become the thing in me I’m facing more and more each day.  It’s the difference between my agenda and God’s agenda.  It’s the difference between what I want and what others want.  It’s the difference between what I think I should do and what God wants me to do.  It’s the difference between the why I do things and the how I do things.

Pride = Self-Motive(Agenda+Arrogance)


Love = God-Motive(Sacrifice+Submission)

. . . . things that make you go, hmmmmm!

God, I want to respond in Your love — every time!!!  I want to start every conversation with Your intent, Your motive in mind — to the core of my heart!  I want to sacrifice whatever it is I want for what You want.  I want to submit to Your agenda, Your plan for the greater good in others — not myself!  Relationships are not about me — ever!  My pride gets in the way of that so often.  Continue to refine my heart, my mind and those things I choose to do each day — remind me of Your grace, Your mercy and Your LOVE!

“It always protects, always trusts, always hope, always perseveres!”  I Corinthians 13:7

by:  Mark Cruver

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