Paul's Better Way, Part 1

“And I will show you a still more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31).

Many people mistakenly think that every conflict arises out of differences of opinion. While some certainly do, conflict can usually be traced more to tone and attitude. Some disagreements seem complex and almost impossible to untangle. But the Bible instructs us to conduct our lives and words in love. Let’s look at a few verses from 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter:

 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant” (1 Corinthians 13:4).

When we exercise patience, we grow a long fuse and do not erupt in anger too easily. We demonstrate respect toward others, showing a willingness to endure inconveniences and bear up with the faults of others.

The kind person offers a smile to people, and an ear. Kind people offer soothing words that can calm anxious souls, and also wise thoughtful words that heal and comfort. People need encouragement today, and the kind person will hurry to offer it.

Love does not envy the good opportunities and lifestyles of others. In fact, it rejoices at the victories of others. Love looks beyond mere appearances, recognizing God has a role for everyone with blessings suitable to each.

People influenced by love need to parade their status or accomplishments to others. If God is pleased with their actions, they are content. The world, on the other hand, rushes to gain any publicity it can, and makes many false boasts. The Spirit-controlled believer avoids all pretenses, and sees no need to parade accomplishments. He or she knows that God sees their deeds, and that is enough.

Finally people walking in love do not walk around in a haughty spirit, exalting themselves above others and lowering people. They recognize God saved them by His grace, and they deserve no better than what they have.

Paul’s “better way” is the way of godly love. Whenever love prevails, anger subsides, tempers and voices lower, peace abounds!

We will continue this theme tomorrow.

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