1 Corinthians 13 (NIV) Love Does Not Dishonor Others: You Are The Salt of The Earth

     This is a world of usage thus there exists service. The term user is applied to many applications today. Mankind delights in service. We expect others to serve us because we live in a generation of conveniences. Whether someone is paid to do that service seldom enters our thoughts. Yet, there are volunteer positions in society and paid positions. What distinguishes one from the other? A paid position comes with a salary. Volunteer positions do not. Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary defines salary as: “fixed compensation paid regularly for services”, but does compensation define the worth of the position? No. As a person who has occupied both paid and volunteer  positions, I feel qualified to express that a position is not defined by whether it is compensated, but by the worth of the position in the servant’s heart. It is connected with passion, with calling, and with the ability to listen to GOD’s Holy Spirit.

 

 

     The term salary has its root in the word ‘salt’. Salt has maintained an important position throughout history as a seasoning, flavor enhancer, and preservative. It is priceless to some. Jesus says in Matthew 5:13:

 

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by man.”

 

     A job is one thing. A calling is another. A calling never loses its flavor, its appeal, or its seasoning. This is because GOD is the salt, the flavor, and the appeal. He is the one who draws, much like the salt, upon our hearts and our spirits. By GOD I mean the Persons of the HOLY Trinity–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They do a perfect work using imperfect beings to prepare the way. This is a key point. Imperfect people do imperfect things. Does this deter GOD from using them? If that imperfect heart knows and expresses true repentance, and if they are willing to be used, GOD will use them to do His will.

 

Numbers 18:19 states:

 

 

“All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to the LORD, I have given to you and your sons and daughters with you as an ordinance forever; it is a covenant of salt forever before The LORD with you and your descendants with you.”

 

 

     We enter into covenant with GOD when we honor those things that are worth “their salt”. Who determines their worth? GOD does. Mankind is judgmental to the extent that leaving the task  of determining the worth of persons or things becomes totally subjective. What appeals to one person may not appeal to another, be it tangible or ideological. It is not our job to determine worth–this is the work of The Holy Spirit. Just imagine how much more could be done for the Kingdom of GOD if we would refrain from judging others so harshly that we make their ministry ineffective. I have had opportunity to hear and observe how others view former leaders or followers. This is a disposable generation. When someone who has served moves on it is understood that there are others who can take their place. Their ministry is placed on the table and sifted to determine its former effectiveness and how that person can be replaced. Yet, if we are all individuals made by GOD for specific purposes–how can we be replaced? Even if the task at hand requires simple skills–no one does it the same.  This is not egotistical, it is logical. Does this mean that the earth will screech to a grinding halt because we have left a task behind? No, because someone will pick it up. What it does mean is that each person is unique in their approach to life and ministry. Their service, if done in Christ, should be treasured as a gift to those whom they have served. As a result–respect them and love them as GOD loves you. You are both imperfect. You may not always agree on the methods or results of a person’s ministry in Christ–but never lose sight of the fact that they have served you. Love does not dishonor nor cast out others.

 

 

One more thought. It is not mandatory to love those who have given you their time, love, and support. It is GODLY.

 

 

 

1 Corinthians 13

 

 

New International Version (NIV)

 

 

 13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

 

 

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 

 

 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

 

 

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

 

 Footnotes:

 

  1. 1 Corinthians 13:1 Or languages

  2. 1 Corinthians 13:3 Some manuscripts body to the flames

 

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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