Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Love principle

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Most Christians are familiar with 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and 13. here is how it is paraphrases in the Living Bible:
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4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love

Millions of devout people who believe earnestly in that lofty principle have found it difficulty to live up to it. The critical comment, the carping attitude, the unloving response slip out before they can be checked.
I don't think s much of the conversion experience that doesn't convert the tongue. A screaming wife/mother and a shouting, angry husband/father are wretchedly poor examples of basic Christianity. Children who learn about love and tolerance on Sunday but live with the opposite six days a week are going to be influenced most by what they experience at home. What children are told doesn't have as much effect as what they observe.

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