How familiar are we with 1 Corinthians 13? Especially verse 4, “Love is patient, love is kind …”
Lately, as I have been praying for children’s ministers and home school moms that I know, those I am in contact with on Facebook, and those that subscribe to our site, I keep having verse 5 stir up in my heart.
1 Corinthians 13:5 “does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil …”
I think we could each teach a lesson on any of those phrases. But the one that is stirring in me is “not easily provoked.” The subject of the sentence is love. Love is not easily provoked.
To provoke means “to anger, enrage, or exasperate.”
How easy is it to get provoked? I mean, really. On any given Sunday, children’s ministers have so many things to handle from the children, from the volunteers (those who show up and those who don’t), from the parents, from the other staff. On any given day, home school moms have so many things to handle from the children, the schedule stress, the lovely comments thrown out from anyone anywhere.
It is SO easy to get provoked. And, if we would move on to verse 6, we would see “keeps no account of wrongs.”
Tricky stuff that 1 Corinthians 13. Very tricky.
As I have been meditating on this very message, I have found it rising up in my heart and in my mind at just the right moment. Like when someone said something that really stung me. I felt myself starting to seethe. Then I heard the words “not easily provoked.” Well, when you hear the words and you instantly feel the sting and the growling starts in your gut – that, my friend, is being easily provoked. But this time I heard the scripture and let it rise up in my heart instead of anger.
Such a great exercise. Such a needful exercise. Such a growth exercise.
Meditate on those verses daily for a while. Pray them over yourself before you enter into a group situation where you have been offended previously. Let the Word of God bring life to that area. He is faithful.