“Love does not demand its own way”

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, O Lord,
Standin’ in the need of prayer.
It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, O Lord,
Standin’ in the need of prayer.

– early morning blogging….

This is not a bad place to sit and write. Here at the kitchen counter, cozy, sipping coffee, thinking about what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus, looking into the day ahead.

I have already meditated on the Thursday verse of the day. “Love is patient,” it reads. “Love is not rude. Love does not demand its own way…”

Reading this makes me want to smack a few people! Or love them – maybe that’s what I meant!

Politicians, yes, but regular citizens too; people who have lost their patience; people who identify as Christians; people who live in this free country; people who are part of a community yet remain so insistent on having their own way; no, demanding their own way.

“I want my own way, and I demand that I have it now!”

Why? Because they are right and people who see things differently (or even the same but differently nuanced) are so wrong? I’m sorry, but now you’re not just impatient but you are being rude too!

If you think I’m writing about you…?
Derek Maul in downtown Wake Forest

Maybe I’m not as concerned as I should be about people thinking, “I can’t believe Derek Maul is writing about me…!” You know, like the man who always believes the preacher is talking about his particular alcohol abuse, or his current infidelity just because the sermon is about Noah, or King David.

I typically write disclaimers like, “Don’t worry, the people I have in mind live in the Yukon (or Argentina, or Australia, or on the Outer Hebrides with no Internet) and there is no chance today’s post is about real people I may actually know…

But this “Love is not rude. Love does not demand its own way” situation is everywhere now and it is ripping this country apart. So yes, this post is directed to people we all know; probably some of my readers, likely residents of Wake Forest, even people who go to my church, and of course me too.

“Standing in the need of prayer…”

I just want to remind everyone that the foundational idea of Christianity is that of unmitigated guilt covered by unconditional love.

  • First, we are all in the same boat. We all stand in the need of redemption. But primarily me, particularly you: “Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer…”
  • Then, we have all been invited into the unfolding story of grace, mercy, promise, and reconciliation.

This is the basis of what we understand as “The Beloved Community.” Our foundation for being a community is this common understanding of grace.

  • Grace makes allowances for our differences, it has to.
  • Mercy is the application of grace, offered in love.
  • Promise is our common understanding that God’s generous love belongs to us all, bringing light and hope into the future.
  • Reconciliation is God’s plan for the world, and our responsibility – by God’s mandate – to implement.

And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him… – 2 Corinthians 5:18

Love does not demand its own way! – DEREK


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