BETTER TO BE KIND THAN TO BE RIGHT
1Corinthians 13:4-8 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.
After spending much time in providing pastoral care to many married couples, I have come to the realization that if only we meditate on Paul’s instruction on how to love one another, many couples would not have to suffer broken hearts and marriages causing even their off springs to suffer along with them. Very often my heart cries out for these young ones because they are innocent of all the troubles between their parents and they go through traumatic times of fear and insecurity.
Pride has always been the deadliest component of a broken relationship. One partner may feel insecure because of the action of the other but is too proud to admit it. Rather than express their feelings they sometimes do stupid things to get attention leading to greater misunderstanding and animosity. It’s the “I don’t need you” attitude that starts the ball rolling and when it rolls down the hill, it takes more than just strength to stop it from plunging down the foot of the hill.
Paul says we need to have patient with one another because it is an act of kindness to help a love one understand you and vice versa. No two human beings are exactly the same for they are unique and rightly so because God has made them that way. As such, how we behave towards one another will determine what happens to the relationship. Paul disagree with haughty and arrogant attitudes towards one another, nor does he condone provocative acts to hurt one another by using childish and dangerous tactics to stir up jealousy. You hurt me and therefore I will hurt you back, even more badly. This kind of provocative actions will eventually turn each other off and cause the partners to look out for solace in someone else. The final statement I often hear about the relationship is, “ I don’t love him or her anymore so it’s useless to go on.” Time and again I hear such comments and I wonder if it was for love or for lust that people get married.
Love can never fail if we give ourselves a chance at it but we need to follow Paul advice. Learn to have patience with one another, faith and trust in each other and consciously carry ourselves with integrity, putting aside every vain imagination of our invulnerability. Most of all we need to be merciful and kind to one another because no one is perfect in this imperfect world. We are all imperfect and it is by the grace and the mercies of Christ Jesus that we are not consume by the Almighty God.
Sometimes we can be very cruel to one another by spewing out words of anger and hate over issues that could have been easily overcome if we remember that a soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger Prov.15:1. If we confess to be truly followers of Jesus Christ, then like Paul says we are slaves to Christ and as slaves we have no more rights. So we should stop thinking about our rights so much so that we are so self-centered. In fact, I have seen some who are so full of themselves that they think that the world revolves around them and no one else is more important than them.
Paul says, I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life, which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Gal 2:20. We can therefore learn to live a life of kindness to one another rather than trying to prove that we are right all the time because Christ now lives in us and He will justify us.