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Oct15ThuLetter 36 October 15, 2020 by Majors Brenda & David Allen
Seasons change, and we all find ourselves with the need to put things away. Last weekend, for Canadian Thanksgiving, you may have brought out, or purchased, a decoration to match the season – red, orange, and gold in colour. It isn’t long before these items glare at us telling us they no longer belong. We look at them and we know it is time they are put to the side. Most often they are set on a shelf in storage, or in a closet, until the season returns once again.
We don’t always put things to the side for use at another time. This summer I enjoyed a few weeks at Esperanza Ministries which is accessed only by boat. Sometimes I would walk by a pile of rubbish that had absolutely no use anymore. It was not re-useable, burnable, or recyclable. It truly was garbage. It was put aside, never to be used again.
There are things in our lives that need to be set aside for more than a season. Paul the apostle said it this way. “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things” (I Corinthians 13:11).
Children, at a very young age, know what they want. Because they know what they want, when they do not get what they want, they often make it known. Sometimes this is with screaming and tears, perhaps lying on the floor with feet and hands waving. Even the best of parent has not been able to avoid this experience, and sometimes it has happened in the most public of places. Onlookers gaze. Parents shrink in embarrassment as they watch and do their best to control this selfish behavior. This behavior is natural for a young child. It is difficult to reason with their young mind. Rational explanations and words are not understood.
This verse, which speaks of putting away childish behavior, is included in what is known as the love chapter of the Bible. I wonder if Paul is including, in his many thoughts, the putting away of childish behaviours which do not reflect love. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Perhaps individualistic tantrums come when we resist the way of love.
To live a life of love is to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, elevating every man, woman, boy and girl above ourselves (Philippians 2). This is not an easy formula. It is not done in our own strength. It is only the God of love who can teach us to love. “My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him” (1 John 4:7-9 The Message Paraphrase).
In reading the above verses about love, from 1 Corinthians 13, the Spirit is certain to help us stop on any one of those positive or negative descriptors (read that list with me again slowly). How good it is that our God, in love, would help us to see what needs to be put aside! Let us consider what childish way is found in us, affecting relationships, today. We ask God, by his Spirit, to help us put on his love and “put aside childish things.”
This simple refrain makes for a beautiful prayer to be used throughout our day.
Make me more like Thee, Jesus,
Make me more like Thee.
Give me a heart that’s filled with love,
And make me more like Thee.
With care and in prayer,