“God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”
Written by Victor Morris, Founder of Truth Builders
Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” And he didn’t live in 2020-22! These are indeed trying times. Life in 2022 tries our resolve, patience, faith, peace of mind, and ability to be loving. After writing yesterday’s devotional about being more like Jesus, I have pondered the matter of Christian love. In the current environment, we need love, loads of it, tons of it. Yet, it is not as evident as it should be. I am too often a culprit in this regard. (Heavy sighs.) I am like C. S. Lewis. I fail by committing sins “against charity.” The faults that I must repent of probably are 90+ percent uncharitable sins. (Here using charity in the old KJV sense of agape, the God-kind of love.) Of the many areas of lack in my life, a lack of genuine, godly love surely must top the list.
I eschew reading 1 Corinthians 13. It is a mirror too bright, too glaring—and too accurate. James was so very right. I’m not too fond of the way I look in the mirror of that passage. I want to forget what it reveals about me. You see, if I were to put Paul’s writing into my own life’s context (and make it truthful) then this is how this passage would read:
I don’t suffer long.
I am sometimes kind, but not frequently enough.
I do envy, although I don’t want to admit it.
I can parade myself, liking to be on display in front of others.
Oh my, how puffed up I can be.
I try not to behave rudely, yet I do this more often than I think I do.
I seek my own way far too often.
I am way too easily provoked, especially while driving or watching TV.
I want to think that I think no evil, but that’s a lie.
I hope I don’t rejoice in iniquity, but rejoice in the truth. But I’m not sure how well I do on this one.
I bear some things
I believe some things.
I hope often, but not enough.
I am not very good at enduring.
Love never fails. I do.
Oh wretched man, that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death (in other words, from ME.) Aaahhh. But there is hope. For in the next verse, Paul shines the light of truth and grace into our blighted souls. Who shall deliver me from myself? “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” It is HE, and only HE. Jesus shall deliver us. His grace is sufficient. He will change us. He will deliver us from our baser natures. He can love through us, if we let him. Remember, love is a supernatural force. It is not natural to you. But God’s love can work in you, and through you to others. As John Piper says, “Love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is not the product of our hard work for God.”
In the frustrations of life in 2022, do you find yourself not always acting as you wish? The pressures of pandemic-living and COVID-existence tries your soul. You wish you were kinder, gentler, more loving, more understanding. Don’t lose heart, dear child. God is on your side. And he will help you. Call out to him. Surrender to him. And let his love fill the reservoir of your heart, and splash over to those around. Release yourself to his love. Let the love of God, given to you by the Holy Spirit, flow in you, through you, and then out to others.
 Another good ol’ fashioned King Jimmie word. Look it up.
 James 1:23-24
 Romans 7:24-25