1 Corinthians 13-14

Read 1 Corinthians 13-14.

Have you ever realized that you were just going through the motions? It can happen in any area of our lives. We drive either to work or home, only to realize once we’ve arrived that we recall nothing at all from the journey. How? We went through the motions, but our minds were somewhere else. We can do it at work or around the house, completing the tasks we need to complete without being mentally and emotionally present for any of it. I don’t know how it happens. I know just enough about the human brain to know that I don’t know anything about the human brain. What I do know is what Paul tells us in today’s passage–that we are capable of doing the same kind of thing when it comes to exercising spiritual gifts. We can go through the motions, seeming to get a lot done, but if we do it apart from love, then we’ve accomplished nothing, especially not anything that will last. There can be lots of reasons we do things, even those that are expressly spiritual in nature like reading this devotional. What really matters, though–and what endures–are those things that we do with love. Maybe it would be helpful for us to ask ourselves often, when we’re at risk of just going through the motions, “Why am I doing this? Is it motivated by love?” And if we have a hard time discerning the answer, let’s take a moment to peer into the mirror of 1 Corinthians 13:

[4] Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant [5] or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; [6] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. [7] Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4–7, ESV

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