A Better Way

Have you ever noticed that most infomercials these days make the same claim, “a new and improved” whatever. Or it is something that will revolutionize a common chore or task. For all the inventions, especially those designed to save us time, I have to wonder just how effective they truly are. But that is another post for another time. Today, I want us to see that there is a better way of living our life. It is something that I would argue is largely missing from the public square. The apostle Paul has spent the first 12 chapters trying to correct problems within the church. Every one of the church’s problems stemmed from their own pridefulness. Then, Paul ends 1 Corinthians 12 this way, “But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way” (1 Cor. 12:31).

What was Paul’s better way? That verse launches us into 1 Corinthians 13, better known as the “love chapter.” Paul says that without love he has nothing of value to say, there is nothing of value he can do, and he himself will have no value if he isn’t motivated by love. Then in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Paul describes what genuine love looks like. It can be summed up in one person, Jesus Christ. I would encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 today, and then ask yourself this question, does my life and my communication with others show those traits? It’s easy for us to talk about the political discourse, mainstream media, and various radical groups, and blame them for all the problems in our nation. However, we all play a part in it by how we discuss things amongst ourselves either personally or through social media. While there are some great aspects to social media, especially when it comes to getting the Gospel and the teachings of the Bible out; we must also admit that there is a very dark side to social media. Besides the obvious that people have lost the ability to spell properly due to text code, we are rapidly losing the ability to have genuine civil discourse. Social media has allowed the very worst, most prideful parts of us as humans to come out. We can sit behind a screen, unseen, and unaccountable and type out whatever we want. This frees us from feeling anything for those who are reading our words. It causes us to not see the genuine hurt that we cause with our careless words. If we want to see things calm down, and our nation come off the brink of meltdown, we are going to have to get out from behind our computers and get into our communities and start talking with one another. We are going to have to start believing the best about one another instead of the worst. We are going to have to repent of our pride, and ask God for His grace so that we will live in humility. When I love God the way I am supposed to, then there is no room for pridefulness in my life, because I will see Him for who He is while also seeing myself as I truly am. This will allow humility to rise in my life, and an attitude of gratitude for what He has done for me and what He is doing in me. This is what the world desperately needs right now.

On these lines, I want to appeal specifically to my brothers and sisters in Christ. I know we are in the final home stretch of yet another heated election season. I know we as a nation have many problems that need to be addressed. I know that we know the only true hope for our nation is the Lord Jesus Christ. However, I also know that we, at times myself included, are not going about this the right way. We are not being loving. Therefore, I want to appeal to us all to show the world this more excellent way. Let’s sacrifice our pride on the altar, and be clothed with humility. Instead of trying to win every argument, let’s try to influence every person towards Jesus. Instead of having to get the last word, let’s be the first to hear. After all, God did give us two ears and one mouth for a reason. Let’s respond with genuine compassion instead of coarse remarks, especially with those that we disagree with. We will never win them over to our side by vilifying them. This world needs Jesus, and it is the church’s responsibility to show and share Him with them. So, let’s spend how much ever time we have left in this life doing that, and know that God will be pleased.

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

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