Just a Few Thoughts on 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13 is the "love chapter" I guess. It's always kind of aggravated me that some take the Bible to be a disjointed set of verses, with no flow and certainly no context. I've heard that chapter read at many weddings. I don't think there's really anything wrong with that, but marriage isn't really the context of this "love chapter." The prior chapter and the chapter after it deal with spiritual gifts. Paul is laying out some guidelines for the zealous-for-spiritual-gifts Corinthians. Right in the middle of that he says, "look, these gifts are cool and have their place, but if you want to build each other up, if you want to impact your community as the people of God, there is no better way to do any of that than to love one another."

Lately I've been thinking about how I'm doing relating to others, especially Christians, and I've got to say, this chapter is a great study. Sure, it has a lot to do with how you ought to love your spouse, but its primary application is how you ought to love each other in the church.

So here's the first few verses, in a nutshell:

If you speak with tongues (a pretty spectacular gift), but if you don't love each other, your speaking in tongues is pretty much an annoying noise.

If you have a little bit of revelation, if you have some serious faith, if you have some good deeds of feeding the poor, even if you endure being persecuted for being a Christian, but you don't love each other, it's all worthless.

Love first, then let all these other things flow out of that love.

There's plenty of other things to say, but here's the rub: if there are other Christians in your life that you don't love, then you're just spinning your wheels. You have dampened your impact. If you don't love them, people won't take you seriously.

2 Corinthians 5 talks about the ministry of reconciliation. Basically, if we can't be reconciled to each other, when we tell others about the reconciliation between God and man through Jesus Christ, how will they take us seriously?

I'm totally guilty.

Dust It Off

Well it's time to dust off the old blog. It's not that I'm particularly inspired to post a lot, it's just that I will be attending The Leadership Summit this Thursday at Nappanee Missionary Church. I'm really looking forward to having some time to myself to sit (in the air conditioning) and reflect. Life's been so busy lately that I've forgotten how much I enjoy these kinds of events. I'm looking forward to the prospect of evaluating where I'm at in my spiritual walk and how the level of my walk can have an impact on others. That's the true essence of leadership, or at least a certain facet of it: an example-based leadership.

As I think about how I'm doing on this, I know I've got a lot of work to do. I find myself in a type of leadership position that has crept up on me; one that I never expected myself to be engaged in: leading a business. The pressures and responsibilities are insanely overwhelming at times, even to the point of having to prioritize minute-by-minute. This kind of stress has had a negative impact on how I relate to others. If I was taking a class on relationships, I would venture to say I got a couple D's and F's on a few quizzes and tests. There certainly is room for improvement. Thing is, if I could just get the relationship thing right for the most part, I think I could be more impacting, and not just at work.



Positive Press for Obama

I just got back from the International Gift and Home Furnishings show in Atlanta. Our company ran into some representatives from bigger accounts and bigger businesses, which is great. As I spoke to the owner of one of these accounts, he gave me his prediction for the economy after Obama takes the oath. He feels the press will give him six months of positive press and praise. He also mentioned that 55% of the workforce are public employees (government employees, etc. whose salaries and pensions are untouched by the bad economy). These two things combined will restore at least some consumer confidence. I found his theory to be pretty interesting. I guess time will tell whether retail sales will make some sort of rebound.


Israel Beating the Crap Out of Terrorists

Here's an article I read about what is happening in Israel. I've had an interest in what happens in Israel since Brooke and I were in bible college in 2000. If you want to know anything about prophecy and what's coming down the pike, you watch Israel. It may not be anything, but it could be an indicator of things to come. Pretty much everyone in the world hates Israel (if you want to know anything about racism, ask a Jew). It will be interesting to see how many people point the finger at Israel for an overly-harsh response to nothing. But if your neighbors were firing rockets into your backyard (literally), wouldn't you want your army to do something about it?


Good Book

It's rare how often I cross paths with a good book that will hold my attention from cover to cover. The last I can remember was Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. This time around it was The Shack by William P. Young. I highly recommend it, although if you have deeply entrenched ideas of God, some parts you may find offensive.

Anyway, I found it just as easy to read this book as it is to watch a good movie. Great stuff.