Paul’s scope today was pretty broad, wasn’t it?
He started off with a message that is hard to swallow if you are a politically minded person. I’ve lived long enough to live under political administrations that I agreed with and those I disagreed with. All’s well if I agree with the powers that be, but when I don’t I really have to remind myself of Paul’s words here in the opening verses of chapter 13. I need to remind myself that God is control, even when it seems that the current rulers are against everything I believe. I have to have faith that God knows what he’s doing. And of course He does.
So with that, we could say that Paul was looking at the macro. Next he moves to the micro. He focuses on our relationships with individuals. How we get along with our fellowman. He makes it sound so easy. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Yeah, Paul, but have you met my neighbor? There is nothing remotely lovable about that guy! He’s petty, he’s cantankerous, he’s foul mouthed, he’s mean. What’s that? Oh, yeah. There was nothing much lovable about me when Jesus called me. Ok. That hurts. Jesus, help me to see my neighbor through your eyes. Help me to love him like you love him, and like you love me, though I don’t deserve your love.
How’s that for homework? No one said this life of faith was easy. Do you have a neighbor like that? Maybe someone you work with? Maybe a family member? Pray for them this week.