Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Opus 2011-360, Agape/Chesed: Unprovoked Love, part 1

(1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NASB)  Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

Love is not be “provoked” (3947)?  What does that mean?  On the surface it is obvious and we don’t want to ignore the obvious.  Love does not allow itself to be poked and prodded into a response of anger and hostility.  I guess you could consider it a combination of patience and kindness.  It is the application of turning the other cheek.

I understand that.  What I am struggling with is the repeated, day after day provocations that seem to never stop.

One question I have is, to quote David in the Psalms, “How long, O Lord?”  Or to ask the question that Peter asked,
(Matthew 18:21 KJV)  Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
And of course Jesus gives us an answer,
(Matthew 18:22 KJV)  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
So it would seem that we are to keep on taking it on the chin, getting up again, smiling and going out to get hit again.  I am not satisfied with that.

First, it is the easy way instead of the loving way.  In Philippians Paul said,
(Philippians 2:3-4 KJV)  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
After consulting other translations let me offer the Pumice Pathetic Paraphrase of verse 4
(Philippians 2:4 PPP) “You have a responsibility to do what is best for the other person, even when they don’t like it.”
Love is concerned with the other person.  When they are constantly practicing anti-social behavior it is not loving to grin and bear it.  We have the Biblical mandate to rebuke, reprove and correct.

So where does this leave us?  I think it might come down to the difference between reacting and responding.  Reacting is what we are warned against.  Someone pushes, we push back.  Someone attacks, we counter-attack.  Responding is a measured and thought out response.  It is not an angry retort but a careful statement of love.  One destroys.  One edifies.

The Highway of Holiness is not for the timid or the lazy.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.