Tag Archive: Humility



“For to be sure, He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by God’s Power. Likewise, we are weak in Him, yet by God’s power we will live with Him to serve you.” -2 Corinthians 13:4

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When we read the Scriptures, we cannot help but be impressed with the lengths Christ had to descend in His humility to accomplish the goal. Though Paul offers a great compare/contrast here, there is one major difference between the weakness of Christ and the weakness of mere man. The weakness of Christ was manifest due to His perfect obedience, while the weakness of man, is often made apparent by our disobedience. The weakness of Christ, and His humility, even to the point of death, is infinitely stronger than the greatest of man’s strength! He was perfectly obedient, for Christ was well aware of His mission on earth, and that it must be completed, lest none of us become saved.
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Yet, as we realize that Christ was man, as well as a vital part of the Trinity, we see that Christ had His struggles. Not to the point of sin and disobedience, for if this were the case our faith would be meaningless, but rather, as a man, He dealt with temptation and even fear. We do not have a Lord who sits up on high, making commands from afar, with no personal understanding of the difficulty man has in overcoming sin. Instead, we have a Lord who became man, faced the very same challenges we face, and more, was crucified, and rose again victorious.

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Thereby, it gives us hope to realize our Lord did wage war against sin, temptation, and looked upon His crucifixion with trepidation. This is, of course, to put it mildly. We are told in Luke 22:44, that during His praying within the garden of Gethsemane that He sweat as blood. This, and His prayer, in which He prayed God would take the cup from Him if it was His will, are some heavy indications of the turmoil and fear Christ must have felt in that part of His nature that was man. Yet, could He have sweat blood?

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This rare medical condition is known as hematidrosis, or, hematohidrosis. Rather than some kind of obscure condition, though it’s rare, history, apart from the account of Christ, is full of examples of this occurring. In fact, Leonardo da Vinci, wrote the account of a solider who sweat blood before battle. I also recall hearing an account of a young girl who living in or near London during the blitz sweat blood out of fear. The blood vessels around the sweat glands rupture, the blood seeping into the glands, and it pushes the blood and sweat to the surface. The experience is said to be rather painful, for the skin becomes extremely tender.

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Even to the point of shedding His blood in such a fashion, Christ was obedient to the Fathers will, and though He could have stopped the crucifixion, and indeed destroyed all of Rome, He did not. To be obedient to God,  He appeared as weak, though in reality, He was strong, so that by what occurred at Calvary, we may all be saved by His strength and obedience, and that we may be clothed in it, even in our weakness, to serve God and others as Christ did. As the Father raised Christ, so too will we be raised, for like our sin was put upon Christ at Golgotha, His righteousness will be put upon even the weakest of those who come to Him in faith and persevere. To Him be all the praise and glory. Amen.
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“‘He Himself bore our sins’ in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by His wounds you have been healed.'” -1 Peter 2:24

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"Christ on The Cross With Three Angels," by Albrecht Durer. sketch, c. 1525

Though I try not to look at Scripture in a purely aesthetic context, I am a nerd and there are times, or rather verses, where I feel almost overcome by its beauty. This verse is no different. Eons before the arrival of Shakespeare, the apostle Peter recounts something worthy of the “Hamlet” author, by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 53:5). As Shakespeare liked to utilize compare/contrast and antithesis in his poems and plays, Peter and Isaiah do similarly with the phrases, “die to sins and live for righteousness,” and, “by His wounds you have been healed.”

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The antithesis represented by the words, “die,” “live,” “wounds,” and, “healed,” emphasize what Christ endured on our behalf, and for what cause. Christ was mocked, flogged, crowned with thorns, and crucified, in order that, by Him, we may be crowned by His glory and receive the gift of eternal life, returning the glory to its rightful place. In our salvation, we praise and glorify our savior, who bore incredible suffering for the likes of sinful, grotesque and undeserving man, that by His love, we may dwell with Him inside eternity. No praise seems worthy, for His glory far outweighs what we can offer. Yet, we strive to perfect our praise, love, and adoration in our hearts, spirits, minds and actions, for this is what God desires, commands and more than deserves. May our praises upon the alter of humility be a pleasant aroma unto our Lord and God whose glory and grace far outweigh what we could ever hope to offer.

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"Deposition," by Albrecht Durer. engraving, c. 1512


“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” -Romans 12:3

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"The Confusion of Tongues," by Gustave Dore. engraving, c. 1865

In my earlier post concerning 2 Corinthians 10:7 entitled, “On Proper Pride and Humility,” I discussed a little about the relative aspects of pride and a few ways one can avoid this particular sin in their life. Yet, I feel some added clarification is required, that we may gain a deeper understanding of this sin, in order that it might be identified. Pride has great ability at concealing itself in ones life, by defining it with more clarity, we may illuminate it.

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Pride at its very core is a lie and deceitful. To have pride in oneself, is to take those attributes one has been granted by God and embellish upon them so they become more than they are. As Paul urges, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.” This in essence it what pride is, to think of oneself more highly than you should, or to think about a particular attribute more than you should.

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Therefore, if you stand in front of a mirror and suck it in and flex periodically, as I have been known to do, you are exercising that pride. Also, if you are a big, “Rock Band” fan and picture yourself in your minds eye playing in front of a crowd of screaming women, or men, this is also prideful. Do not use your mind and heart to exalt and exaggerate the self, for to do so is incredibly sinful. In addition, because you will fall short in this elaboration, this can lead to extreme depression, when one doesn’t match up to the conception offered up by the sinful mind.

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In atheism, a popular argument against God’s being, is that if He existed or exists than He is an extremely prideful being. Yet, when we take Paul’s definition, we find this not to be the case at all. God knows exactly who He is and cannot be anything different. Furthermore, because he is the thing-above-which-no-greater-can-be-thought, as defined perfectly in St. Anselm of Canterbury’s Ontological Argument, He is perfectly worthy of worship. In fact, due to God’s knowledge of exactly what He is, this is humility.

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"Sistine Chapel Ceiling (detail)," by Michelangelo. fresco, c. 1508-1512

Paul continues saying, “think of yourself in sober judgment.” This is what humility is when it is in, “accordance with the faith God has distributed.” This being the case then it negates the idea of God being a prideful, and thereby sinful deity. God cannot deceive Himself, for this would present an irreconcilable contradiction, for He would have to imagine Himself greater than He is, which is an impossibility when one applies the definition of God offered by Anselm.

This verse suggests something which may give some insight into what human nature consists of. We are told, again, to think of ourselves in sober judgment in accordance with our faith in Christ. Thereby, since faith plays such a roll in the sober judgement of self, the question arises if we can have any victory against pride away from Christ? I would argue we can’t for the world is based on the self and the flesh. This sin of pride is the very same that drove Adam and Eve from the Garden. In a world where even good actions are self serving and motivated by the self, this doesn’t seem like a complete absurdity.

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"Adam and Eve Expelled," by Gustave Dore. engraving, c. 1865

To be in accordance with one’s faith, we need to realize that we are indeed imperfect and sinful. This is how Paul had such a lowly conception of himself without sinning. Paul realized how much of a sinner he was and how unworthy he was to both serve God, and be offered grace through Jesus Christ. Paul was completely humble in that he knew what he was and worked for God to serve all man and almost singlehandedly brought about the New Israel among the Gentiles.

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Remember to use discernment and do not elaborately adorn yourself with things like makeup, clothing (but please do wear clothes), jewelry, and anything that you use to magnify your being. This goes for both men and women. Yet, at the same time, we do not need to look like we just crawled out of a gutter whenever we go out in public, but we should use, “sober judgement in accordance with the faith.” Do not attempt to hide the beauty of being that goes beyond mere appearances, but be modest. God has granted you many things and because God is perfect, they are perfect. Do not magnify it by means of worldly things to either please the self or others, for this is a stumbling block to both, and sinful.

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Finally, God has distributed the Spirit to all those in the faith. I can’t address every context and every situation, for such wisdom and omniscience belongs to God alone. Pray to the Lord that He may reveal you by the Spirit of Truth, if such sin is present, and to what degree. Pray that He would help and instruct you how to walk that thin line between both pride and envy, that you may see yourself for who you are, a precious child of the Most High.

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“But, ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.'”-2 Corinthians 10:17

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When we try and examine it to determine what is proper or not, we find pride and its kin to be a curious batch. Some may believe that pride of any kind is bad, some maybe of only the self, and even some perhaps feel as long as it doesn’t encroach upon God, then a certain amount might be okay.

Well, according to Paul there is one thing we can take pride in and that’s our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, we are granted permission to boast of what our Lord has done in the presence of all man. We should boast in both what Christ has done for us, or through us. It is proper to feel honored that the Lord may choose you to accomplish His will, but the moment that realization goes to our ego, it becomes wrong. To keep from this pride realize that Christ is always working through you and in addition, to keep others from stumbling, realize that Christ works through others as well.

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Yet, the Lord has given us a sense of joy and accomplishment that we frequently feel in our lives. This is where I may get some disagreements, but to not acknowledge ones gifts seems of false humility and in itself sinful. Therefore, there needs to be some reconciliation between pride and acknowledgement of ones efforts.

When we come to Christ it is a relationship and you have a hand in all things Christ does. This is no secret for we are told we share in His glory. Should one be “proud” of ones accomplishments and their striving to lead a godly life? I don’t think realization of this is any issue, if kept in proper perspective. What all these sins have in common are comparisons. When one feels prideful, unhealthily, we juxtapose ourselves with others and consider ourselves “better” or “greater” then they are for any number of reasons. This feeds pride.

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Envy is the exact opposite, when one compares themselves with another and finds themselves lacking in relation to their own conception of the “greatness” of that other party. In addition, we find there are things that people take pride in like their children. God the Father said of His Son, in Matthew 3:17, that He is, “Well pleased.”

So what is true humility? I am under the impression that a true humble person who opens themselves to the Lord and let’s Him work through them, does not compare himself/herself to anyone, but merely focuses more, not on the stature and status of those around them, but rather how their relationship with God is developing. A developing relationship with God is bound to produce fruits and one can acknowledge those with no sin. However, if say, one were to compare the godliness of himself/herself with someone else, than this is sinful. Do not compare yourself to others in this way, for all members of the Body of Christ are important.

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Do not be so hesitant concerning the sin of pride that in seeking to be humble you deny those things the Lord has given you. Would Michael Jordan say he wasn’t very good at basketball? This would be absurd and thereby false humility. The thing about false humility is that it usually serves pride more than any simple acknowledgement of God’s particular gift would. If one gives proper thanks to the Lord, uses it for the purpose He has designated it for in your life, and you don’t compare it to other gifts or those who may have a same gift, then this is true humility. Remember most of pride is based on a foundation of that which is relative. Take the relativity out of it and you may gain discernment through this, and prayer, on how to live a humble life and respond properly as any given situation demands.

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“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.” -Proverbs 12:1

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Like it or not, and sometimes we certainly don’t, discipline is an important aspect of life that everyone goes through at one time or another. Whether it be from God, our parents, our boss, friends, or dare I say it, even the law, if we approach discipline with the proper reverence, it can culminate in a blessing rather than a burden. This point is echoed, rather pioneered, elsewhere in the scriptures, when it tells us:

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” -Hebrews 12:11

It is not uncommon for man, in his pride, to look at discipline with bitterness, but Proverbs tells us we are viewing it in the wrong way, especially when the discipline comes from the Lord. We are to humbly accept this discipline, for the discipline of the Lord is perfect, good, done for our own good, and motivated by His love for us (Hebrews 12:5-8). Thus, look to God’s discipline as a means of moving you forward, closer to our Lord, instead of letting it become a hindrance to your walk, which can become manifest due to prideful bitterness. The Lord keeps those who are His and calls upon them. His intention is not to push you away due to discipline. As Hebrews tells us, discipline isn’t exactly pleasant, but its an instrument used by the Lord, in order that we may share in his holiness.
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Pride is a major stumbling block to looking at discipline and correction in such ways as the Bible urges. Man, even on an individual level, enjoys feeling that they are perfect and beyond reproach. Thus, when one is corrected in a misconception, then its not to uncommon for the one being corrected to respond in anger, not out of logic, but out of desperation when their pride is pierced. Though remember, there is always the chance you may try to rebuke someone and find out your actually the one needing to be corrected. This happens to me frequently.

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When one corrects you, realize that you have an opportunity. An opportunity to gain wisdom and knowledge. These opportunities are indispensable, for if you are in the wrong, realize with a proper reaction, you can be made right, and such knowledge may come to serve you and the Lord in the future.

Do not let your pride negate the correction before you, for to be corrected is a blessing that is beyond measure. Our pride, however, at times lets us not accept the correction, and this can be dangerous considering our personal growth in the Lord. Take your correction with praise and realize that another piece of knowledge or wisdom has entered your repertoire, and for that thanks should be given! If you have trouble accepting correction, realize and identify it, and pray to our Lord that you may develop a heart of humbleness.

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If you want to be stupid, then don’t accept any correction and blame your discipline on everyone else. Could you imagine how things would be if nobody accepted any correction? Your mind would be utterly blank and any argumentation posed against you could only be answered with anger and hate. We are not called to these things. Bless those that have corrected you, and praise the Lord that He has sent correction your way. With that I pray you would grow into a man/woman of God, with the wisdom, knowledge, and discernment to be able to lead a multitude to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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"Jesus Walks on Water," by Ivan Aivazovsky. oil on canvas, c. 1888


“That is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” -Romans 1:12

Titling this note as I did, I think I bit off a little more then I could chew, for this is a profound topic.

However, briefly (hopefully), there is with faith and love a correlating outcome when two of faith, or in love, are brought together, and that is a mutual benefit of each party. In Catholicism they have what are called, “The Seven Virtues.” These include, chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility. In the Christian world view, faith and love, as well as hope, are mentioned by Paul (1 Corinthians 13:13) as being of great importance in the Christian walk, the greatest being love. Indeed, many of God’s commandments and Christ’s teachings, as well as the Seven Virtues, can be put in any of these three categories. Christians are to strive after these things that they may become evident in our day to day lives.

Paul states that people can be mutually encouraged by each others faith, which in and of itself is an amazing thing that surpasses progress. It’s always astonishing to me when conversing with a person new to the faith and learning something from them I have never even considered. The world doesn’t work this way. A mathmatetian is probably scarcely amazed at someone who just learned basic algebra. Yet, when two or more are gathered in Christ’s name, nobody is left behind, and nobody seems out of place in regards to the progress of their walk. Each, in faith, is mutually edified by the other.

Now we come to love. What are some of the manifest traits of true love, especially concerning a counterpart? Love is when you are willing to sacrifice all, even your life, for another (John 15:13). It’s when one parties happiness equally and mutually compliments your own. The amazing thing is, this love relationship, though most people put it in the context of a relationship with their desired counterpart, is also manifest with friends and even the Lord Himself, who loved us so much, he came to earth, became subservient to physicality, and died upon the cross for us, that through Him we may have eternal life.

Love is where you are willing to give all and it’s not mutually exclusive, but shared between the parties. Yet, love is not dependent on another party, you can love someone without them returning it, but again, the context I am discussing is a love between two or more people. If, in a pure way, making someone happy in turn makes you happy, that is a sign of love. Likewise, if edifying someone’s faith edifies yours, then that is a sign of true faith. Yet, with both faith and love, the foundation rests in the Lord and without Him pure faith and pure love are impossible and you are merely settling for something that is less than pure. If one wishes to settle on something impure, or be unevenly yolked with someone who doesn’t have similar biblical views, or faith and love in the Lord, then only hardship, frustration and pain can be the result (2 Corinthians 6:14).


“God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of His Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.” -Romans 1:9,10

Paul’s prayers were extremely humble. In his prayers he prayed not only for what he desired, but he prayed that it would come to pass if, and only if, it were in accordance with God’s will. Paul’s prayers were additionally humble in the way that most of them regard furthering God’s kingdom here on earth.

When reading the accounts of Paul, rarely does he pray for himself, that is in a worldly way or for worldly things. That is not to say God is opposed to asking Him for our needs, quite the contrary, but Paul keenly understood motive and the role it plays in prayer. It is an important question to ask, what are our motives in praying a specific prayer?

Paul always remembered to give thanks. At times, I am granted discernment from the Lord to see the amazing work He is doing in people’s lives, and all too often they ask, but never thank. When I realized I was guilty of this, I was shocked that I could be so selfish and thats exactly what it shows, an overbearing focus on self. The Lord loves to hear from us, and like we feel appreciated when someone thanks us, recognize the Lord’s work in your life and thank Him continually as well. It is amazing how such a simple step can further your relationship with the Lord.


“Through Him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for His name’s sake.” -Romans 1:5

One of the paradoxes frequently discussed amongst those in the Christian faith is the relationship between faith and obedience. We find the Bible does place importance on both faith and deeds, though it also tells us our deeds are meaningless, in that we cannot acquire salvation from them and of our own accord.

We, as Christians, more often than not understand this conceptually, for it is a cornerstone of our faith in Christ. As it is said, if it was possible to become righteous because of deeds, then Christ need not have come in the first place (See my note on Galatians 2:21, “On Righteousness by The Law”).

It’s unfortunate, but even us Christians, me included, continue to lose our way, and each and everyone of us can think of a time where we have backslid spiritually. When I read this verse I feel it is not only important for me, but all the Body of Christ. In fact, I have dealt with this very thing recently and perhaps anyone reading this can relate.

I had backslid quite a bit, from what I would consider the most pious time in my life. The scripture tells us of the sin that so easily entangles (See my note on Hebrews 12:1, “On Running The Race”), and more or less, I threw myself headlong into that thorny hedge of intertwined sin and darkness.

The thorns pierced deep into my bone, and once more I was caught in a life of sin. My heart, however, as corrupt as it was, ached for God to pull me out of that hedge. I knew the Lord would love nothing more, for I had a very pious relationship with Him in the past. So I desired to come back to the relationship I once had with Him, and thought I could get that by obeying His statutes. Imagine my disappointment when I found it was doing no good for my relationship with Him, nor was it pulling me out of sin, for I found the sin still abundant in my life despite my disgust with it.


It took me a while, but I eventually was shown I had it all backwards. Even the most taught of us in the faith, make this very mistake. We find ourselves in a place, much like where I was at, and we think to have a relationship with the Lord, we must clean up to approach Him. Yet as Paul touches on here, it is faith that brings us to the Lord and by that relationship, it’s manifest in our deeds.

Christ Himself said that if we love Him, we will obey Him (See my note on John 14:23, “On Love: A Motive For Obedience”). This doesn’t necessarily mean that every sin negates the love we have for Him, though it does show the imperfection of our love, but rather, that loving Him is a necessary condition for obedience. Thus, despite my shame of backsliding, I took some simple steps to improve my relationship with the Lord. I made the assumption He still wanted to hear from me, I confessed, prayed and spent time in the word.


Honestly, it was rather uncomfortable at first. Really uncomfortable. Yet, the relationship has seemed to grow abundantly stronger in a short amount of time, simply because I looked to God, not obedience, to bring me closer. This is a lesson that is clear when we come to Christ, but somehow it gets lost among even the most devout of us. We don’t need to become perfect to come to the Lord or to have a relationship with Him.

So, if you have sin in your life that is tearing you apart from God, realize you have been apart from God already, hence the disobedience. Yet, take heart if you recognize it, for that is the Almighty Himself calling you back. Humble yourself and strive to develop your relationship with God and the obedience in which the Christian finds peace and contentment will surely follow.


“Greater love has no one that this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” -John 15:13


I doubt that any mere mortal who has ever existed hasn’t pondered at least once the question of what love is and what it consists of. Indeed the question has been raised and pondered by theologians and philosophers alike and has resulted in some profound conclusions as well as some very strange ones.


For us Christians though, we know where we must go to seek the answers of such questions, and that is the Scriptures where the wisdom contained within transcends the numerological extent of the pages. This verse is important for another reason besides the insight on love and that is Christ, by His words, foretells of His quickly approaching death upon the cross. Yet, we can also carefully examine this verse, and by some quiet reflection and prayer we can begin to gain perspective on what some of the traits of such a great love as He displayed are.


First, a trait of a perfect love concerns the depths of protection one feels for another party. In a perfect love, represented and personified in Christ Jesus, to protect another or free them of calamity, one willfully lays down there life for another.


Second, a perfect love is humble and forgoes the self even unto the point of death. Christ’s love was so great that He, for a season, became lower and more scorned than all man, that through this unequivocal display of humility we may be saved.


Third, a perfect love is never faulty. This may be obvious by my inclusion of the word “perfect,” but regardless it’s a important thing to consider that no matter what relationship God has blessed you with and however far the love extends, which I pray is very far indeed, but realize it pales in comparison to the perfect love of Christ. This isn’t to belittle the love human beings are capable of, but though we may grow in love, we cannot approach the perfection of Christ due to our already present imperfection. Even things as momentary like mean spirited thoughts towards another, negate the perfection of that love, which was only manifest in fullness in the Lord Jesus Christ.


Fourth, perfect love does not concern the self. We must distinguish the love I am referring to in Christ, from the love that is represented in say a husband/wife relationship, though it can certainly be said in truth that the husband/wife relationship is representational of our relationship with the Lord. Yet, we also know that the love of Christ is not dependent on another party. Rather, Christ’s love was perfect in that it focused entirely on others.


Fifth, a perfect love doesn’t take count of one’s misdeeds towards us. The truth on this statement is evident in Christ’s sacrifice for those who, in a temporal sense, had came before and those that would come after, bearing even more sin upon His tortured form.


Sixth, a perfect love is free of bitterness. Christ wasn’t bitter at those who crucified Him, but rather He actually prayed for them. The though just comes to mind that if someone keyed my truck some night, I don’t think the thought to pray for the culprit would even occur to me, to my shame. Yet, these men brutally tortured and tore into Christ’s flesh, and He was still concerned for them and expressed it in prayer.


Seventh, a perfect love has a desire to protect those in the scope of such love, the scope itself being perfection. We see that Jesus wasn’t immune to being angry, for though Christ was perfect in love, He also had, what I will call perfect anger. In His perfect humility Christ didn’t focus on self, but Rather his friends, which He goes on to call us in the following two chapters, and more importantly God. When we see Christ get angry, a prime example being when He knocked over the tables of the money changers in the temple (Matthew 21:12), it’s usually because God the Father is being disrespected or misrepresented.


Thus, we come to our last trait though I concede there are probably many more. A pure love has its origins and focus on the Lord. For the word tells us in 1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.” (See my note, “On Love’s First Cause”) If we, the children of God, truly want to strive to experience love in its fullness, we need only look to Christ and what He did for us. If we wish to love others the way Christ does, then we must develop a relationship with Him, so that His perfect love will be represented in us and bestowed onto others by our albeit, faulty nature. However, we take hope for the love manifest in us is not of the world and yet is readily seen by those who have opened their eyes and hearts to recognize the truth, salvation and perfect love offered to them by the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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