Love in Shoe Leather
A concert pianist coaxes beautiful sounds from the same instrument a child turns into an instrument of torture. The God-controlled life is beautifully harmonious. It’s God’s love in shoe leather.
It loves believers sincerely. No pretending. It’s married to good. It doesn’t court evil (verse 9).
It doesn’t focus on others’ bad points and its own good points. It doesn’t wait for praise from others. It encourages other believers to use their strengths to build up Christ’s body (verse 10).
Its spiritual fire doesn’t flicker. Diligent effort and a fervent spirit keep it steady. It keeps on loving God and others, come what may. The hope of seeing and being united with Jesus enables it to rejoice despite difficulties. Prayer keeps it burning brightly (verses 11–12).
Its definition of Christian fellowship isn’t a handshake or potluck dinner. It shares its burdens and blessings. It willingly enters the worlds of the burdens and blessings of other believers (verse 13).
When that sharing with others is done at home, it’s called hospitality. Hospitality isn’t entertaining others. It’s providing a place to support and strengthen them (verse 13).
It’s harmonious. It rejoices in others’ good fortune. It rejects all feelings of spiritual superiority. It mingles with people of low social standing. No task is beneath it. It fosters harmony because it’s humble, willing to share, and accepts others’ advice. It enthusiastically shines the spotlight on others (verse 16).
It doesn’t try to get even with those who’ve hurt it. It prays for their forgiveness and a change of heart concerning Christianity. It requires a supernatural gear only God’s grace can provide. It passes God’s forgiveness on to those who’ve hurt it (verse 19).
It seeks to live in peace with others. That isn’t always possible. Although it does everything it can to seek peace, others can still reject it (verse 18).
It repays evil with kindness (verses 20–21). It works actively for the good of those who attack it. Its unexpected behavior can melt the hardest heart. A Christian shared about the Lord with a friend. He was told off in no uncertain terms. The Christian responded kindly. It was a turning point that ultimately led to the friend’s salvation. That’s God’s love in shoe leather.
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