So this past week in my bible study time, (using A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study), the author had us “practicing” some study techniques. We started with 1Corinthians 13. you know..the “love” chapter. The one folks read at weddings.
While I have a few stories about my trip through that short chapter this week (for example, I found myself understanding a comment Mark Driscoll made in a sermon about preaching. He was talking about “wrestling” with the text (scripture) throughout the week before preaching on Sunday. My paraphrase: Totally lost & confused on monday, by wednesday a complete heretic & not getting to a good understanding till late in the week), my favorite “discovery” (as in, I’m sure the majority of the Christian world already knows this, but hey..it was news to me) was the following excerpt from my journal:
Why were verses 1-3 before 4-7?
1-3 talks about how all our works & efforts even a martyrs death are NOTHING w/o love. emphasizing that even if we have what looks like a christian life, it is useless if it’s not springing from Love but duty. I think it’s important to keep that in mind when reading vs. 4-7 since those could be seen as a “how to” manual. We could read those attributes, which are the fruit of love in a person’s life — a “natural outworking of an inward process/faith” & we could instead take away from it more things to add to our “to-do list” on self-improvement. Instead if we see lack in our lives when we read 4-7 we need to pray earnestly for LOVE, not push ourselves to ACT more patiently/kind ect. Deal w/the root issue & the “fruit” will follow. Without a change in heart it will lead only to hypocrisy.