“[Love] does not dishonor others…” (1 Corinthians 13:5a NIV)
So many people are honor-seekers. In fact, let’s be perfectly honest: Wouldn’t you like to be honored for something?
When you go to church, is there a tiny part of you who would like to be up on the platform? At work, isn’t there part of you who wants to at least be acknowledged when something you do goes well? At home, don’t you want your siblings to know you got an “A” on your math test? Don’t you want your friends to know you made it onto the football team?
Several years ago, I was considered the “teacher in charge” at my school. This meant that when the principal and vice-principal were away, I would be the one taking care of any problems that might arise.
One day a parents came to talk to me while I was in charge. She was not at all happy about her child’s teacher. In fact, it seemed to me that she hated her. She could say nothing good about this teacher, and spend quite a long period of time criticizing her. Before she had finished her complaints, I was also becoming quite frustrated at this teacher. If what the parent said was true, then she truly needed to change!
Now I knew this teacher was a good teacher over all, and I know that we can all make mistakes. Would I go to her and show her all her mistakes? What would Jesus do?
After praying for guidance, I went to the teacher. I reminded myself continually to not be critical, and I kept repeating in my mind the phrase, “What would Jesus do?” I lovingly assured this teacher that her lessons were very good and that her students liked her very much. Then I mentioned to her that the parent thought her lessons might be a little bit better done differently, and I showed her the parent’s suggestions. The teacher took it very well, and in the end, she thanked me. And, the mother never returned to complain about this teacher…
That question, “What would Jesus do?” saved me. Would He criticize people? Not at all. He loves us. Why should I be nasty to this teacher, even though the parent had been nasty to me?
Remember: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV).
Also remember, we are here to encourage people, just like Jesus did. We are here to love them like Jesus does. “[Love] does not dishonour others…” (1 Cor. 13:5a NIV).
(To access the entire “God’s Love in YOU” devotional series, please click here.)