Apologetics: ə-pŏl'ə-jĕt'ĭks from the Greek απоλоγία Def: The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.

LOVE Lessons from First Corinthians 13

"Love is Kind. . . χρηστεύεται"

Written By Esthermay Bentley-Goossen on 12 February 2009

This post is part of a series addressing the Apostle Paul's words in I Corinthians 13:4-8. The words Paul chose to teach the church in Corinth in 57 A.D.
are just as powerful today. And just as necessary.

Charity [agape love] suffereth long, and is kind;
charity envieth not. . .

~ I Corinthians 13:4

The word "kind" is the Greek word χρηστεύεται [chresteuomai], which means to be adaptable or compliant to the needs of others. That's a fairly straightforward definition that should get very little resistance, but. . .

When God's highest level agape love is present in our lives, kindness means that we demand nothing (nothing!) of others -- and specifically, we do not demand that others be like us. Instead, agape love makes us want to bend over backwards to become what others need us to be for them?

Thus, the word "kind" portrays a willingness to serve and to change ourselves in order to meet the needs of others. This is completely opposite of the self-absorbed culture we live in today.
My goodness! I'm trying to remember myself when was the last time I wanted to bend over backwards to actually become what someone else needed me to be?

Real agape love doesn't think of itself first. Instead, it is always reaching out, thinking an
d focusing on the needs of others. The person walking in agape love adapts to those around her/him in order to touch them, help them, and impact them in a meaningful way.

It's sort of sad that there are entire books written -- and entire "Bible Study Methods" -- that instruct us on how to better ourselves, better our lives, make our lives easier and even make God more powerful in our lives by our own thoughts, words, and self-focused actions.
Oh! puh-lease! How ridiculous. And how against God's Word.

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11: "I have learned that whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. . . . "

And I Timothy 6:6 tells us that "godliness with contentment is great gain. . . ."

If you desire a deeper and more biblical understanding of God, His ways, and His agape love -- if you desire to see Jesus Christ exalted in your life as you follow His pattern of humility, self-denial, and agape love -- if you believe a Christian's greatest hunger should be for righteousness (Matt. 5:6) and not for self. . . you (we!) would do well to think about what kindness really means.

~ Esthermay

Part 1: I Keep Hearing this Word Tolerance. . . And in the same context as Agape Love!

Part 2: Love Lessons from I Corinthians "Suffereth Long. . . μακροθυμίᾳ "


Denise said...

Awesome my friend.

Joan said...

Your series on love is wonderful – I look forward to all the Greek word studies and I love the new look to the blog with the Apologia. I’ve been following your blog for a couple months now since our Bible study prayed for your church and the troublemakers there trying to spit the congregation. We too have had to deal with tolerant church members who refuse the message of true salvation. God will surely bless your ministry. Your blog is certainly a breath of fresh truth.

Joan said...

P.S. I joined blogger because I've wanted to add myself to your folower list for a long time! Congratulations on the Top 100 Blog Award. Well deserved.

Barbara said...

My prayer is that I can be a truly kind person. Selfishness does seem to have wormed its way into the Gospel, hasn't it? Too many teachers and preachers tell us to first care for ME and then others. You rightly point out the truth.

Rachel said...

"Thus, the word "kind" portrays a willingness to serve and to change ourselves in order to meet the needs of others."

This is very convicting for me. I have no problem wanting to change myself for MY betterment, but for the betterment of others? Very very convicting. Thank you.

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