Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a.
How would you handle the situation if you had a disagreement with your son over how to cook dinner? What would you do if you had an unresolved argument with someone over the correct name of Jesus Christ? Or, if you disagreed with someone about a Bible verse how would you approach that situation?
Jackie Shrader and his son actually did have a dispute over the proper way to cook skinless chicken. They tried to resolve it by having a shootout with their .22-caliber handguns. This occurred in West Virginia.
Niccolo Rossodivita who is 62 years old and Billy Cordova, 40 years old, did have an argument over the correct name of Jesus Christ. Cordova started following Rossodivita around the house and so, Rossodivita shot Cordova twice in the chest. This occurred in Alaska.
Angela Morris who is 19 years old did have an argument with her boyfriend about a Bible verse, which they had been reading together. Morris was charged with assault after she poured boiling oil on her boyfriend. This occurred in Oregon.
Some people are a little touchy. I think it used to be called “having a chip on your shoulder.” The dictionary defines “touchy” this way: “Tending to take offense with slight cause; oversensitive.” Hopefully, we can agree that the people involved in the situations that I have described were “touchy.” If this upsets you, please stop reading now.
As Christians, we should be able to immediately see that the way the situations described above were handled was not appropriate Christian behavior. The verses from the love chapter (1 Corinthians 13) describe the proper Christian behavior. However, knowing how you ought to behave and doing it are two different things. Christian, “agape” love is defined in 1 Corinthians 13 but how do we follow the way of love?
In the Old Testament book of Joshua, the entry of the Children of Israel into the Promised Land is described (Read the first few chapters of Joshua if you have time.). There were two major barriers: the Jordan River at flood stage and the powerful fortress city of Jericho. When did the Jordan River pile up stopping the flow of water allowing the people to cross over into the Promised Land (Joshua 3:13)? When the instructions provided Joshua were implemented. They began to march toward the river with the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant in the lead. The river continued to be at flood stage until…the feet of the priests touched the water as they through faith stepped into the river. As the priests stood in the water with the Ark of the Covenant (Representing the presence of God.), the waters began to pile up and the flow was stopped. Through faith, they also conquered the mighty fortress city of Jericho by following God’s instructions.
We by faith can conquer our behavior, as well. We must make a stand, by faith and begin to act in the way that we know we should. As we do God will begin to empower us to walk in the way of love. God is present with every Christian just as much as He was present at the crossing of the Jordan River. God Himself lives within you through the Holy Spirit, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you (1 Corinthians 3:16)?” Do you believe the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River? Do you believe the walls of Jericho fell down? If so, believe and begin to act in the way of love, as God will then carry you through the raging flood of fleshly emotions and conquer your Jericho of worldly behavior.
(Avoid responding inappropriately when things do not go your way.)