Satan knows that faith will move mountains, and that nothing is impossible to him who believes. He also knows that faith must operate through love to be effective. And so He works to “pull the rug out from under” our faith life by attacking our relationships.
The love command is the central component in the believer’s life. We’re to love one another as He loves us. We are to follow after God and walk in love. We’re encouraged to have “white heated” love for the brethren.
1 Corinthians 13 gives us the elements that describe love. Patience, kindness, generosity, courtesy, unselfishness, righteousness, good temper, sincerity, are some of the fundamentals that form the love of God.
Over the years, I’ve used the Amplified translation of 1 Corinthians 13:5 as a gauge to measure my love life. The last part of the verse reads: it takes no account of the evil done to it; it pays no attention to a suffered wrong.
The moment I get upset because of the way someone treats me shows that I just left the love realm. Back in my bible school days I was heavily tested in the area of walking in love.
I worked in management in a grocery store that had an employee’s union. One winter before Christmas the union decided to go on a strike. I chose to go to work during the strike and was called all kinds of names as I crossed the picket line each day.
One man who worked as a butcher took particular offence at my actions and refused to talk to me or even acknowledge my presence in the room! I managed the night shift and would unlock the door as the day employees came to work.
This butcher would knock on the door, and as I unlocked it and said good morning, he would ignore me and act as though I was the invisible man! He would enter without saying one thing to me or looking at me. In group conversations, he would act as though I was not there and ignore my direct comments to him. He did this every day for weeks!
I decided that I would walk in love towards him, and act as though he did no wrong. Every day, I greeted him, and would speak to him as I passed him as we worked. He refused eye contact, and just simply ignored me and my kind comments day after day. After many weeks, I opened the door one morning, and he greeted me with a smile and a hearty “good morning!” I almost fell on the floor in surprise!
That taught me a great love lesson. Love never fails. Love is the best way.
Refuse to take offense when people mistreat you. Make a decision to be a person of love. That decision will cause your faith to work, and will keep you living above the insults and injuries of others.