Love, Corinthian style

Bible study today was on 1 Corinthians 13 (the 'love' chapter that people are always using for weddings). It's interesting to look at it in context, because if it's viewed in conjuction with chapters 11 to 14 it's far from the warm, fuzzy chapter that it's often considered. It's really an indictment on the Corinthians - "this is how you should be using your gifts and this is how you should be treating each other... and you're doing the opposite". Taken in that light, the bit about 'when I was a child, I thought like a child... when I became a man I put childish things behind me' must have been a real slap in the face for them. And for us, potentially.

We talked about some specific examples. One thing that we all seem to have trouble with is "love keeps no record of wrongs", because holding a grudge seems to come so naturally to us. Often, too, we don't even fully realise we've been storing things up until we get into arguments that quickly degenerate into accusations of "you always do this or that", rather than addressing the one thing that the argument was about in the first place. This is something with which I particularly struggle - often I let things go because I tell myself they're not worth arguing about (and they're not) but find myself stewing over them later, which intensifies my reaction to whatever it was the next time it happens. The solution doesn't seem to be to address the things at the time, because they're often really not worth discussion, so I need to work on genuinely letting go of things instead of merely convincing myself that I've let go of them.

At the end of the study someone prayed for undergrad students who are undertaking exams (of which I am one). He prayed that the students would use the time to rely on God, to pray and to read the Bible... to my shame, I have to say that's probably the last thing I'd think of doing (or praying about) at the moment. Hmmm... time to re-evaluate my priorities...


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