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Monday, February 13, 2012

The Qualities of Love, Lesson 2

The Qualities of Love, Lesson 2
Love is Kind!

1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” NKJV

Last week I scored very low on Makrothumia (longsuffering love.)  Margaret gave me a 2.  Makrothumia is: Love that curbs a bad temper.  Love that doesn’t yell.  I may not score any better on this week’s word.  But, I did do better this week on last week’s word.  I worked at it.  Did any of you do better this week on last week’s word?  (Perhaps we should ask your spouse)

This week’s word is Chrestos.  Love is kind.  (Psalm 63:3; Luke 6:35)
Chrestos defined: Here’s what some leading authors have to say.
1.      Augustus Strong, “to show oneself useful.”
2.      The United Bible Societies Handbook, “do good” or “be helpful.”
3.      Alfred Barnes, “The secret of true politeness is a desire to make others happy; and a Christian should be the most polite of people.”
4.      Adam Clarke, “A Christian cannot be a savage, and he need not be a boor.  A Christian should never put any person to needless pain.[i]
5.      Matthew Henry said, Loving Kindness means “a large heart and an open hand.  Being ready to show favors and to do good.  To be useful.  Not only to seize opportunities to do good, but searching for them.”

Therefore, Chrestos means: Love that makes itself useful.  Love that looks for something nice to do or say.  Love that runs to the rescue!  Love that says “Let me get that for you.”  What are some useful ways we can show our love?

The goal of kindness is always Salvation.  (Rom. 2:4)
A.     Thomas Nelson, “Kindness is not an apathetic response to sin, but a deliberate act to bring the sinner back to God.” 
B.     WWJD?  What would Jesus Do?  (1 Cor. 15:33)
C.     Jn. A.T. Robertson said, Chrestos in Eph. 4:32 means “keep on becoming kind.”  i.e.: keep practicing!

What’s your score on this one?  Will you promise to practice?

[i] Alfred Barnes and Adam Clarke both were turn of the century theologians.  E.g.: The Movie “Kate & Leopold.” Leopold was considered Shiftless by 19th. Century standards, but Chivalrous by the 20th century standards.  That’s how far our standards of good manners have fallen.  It could be argued that the movie is a propaganda piece for a return to basic civility and good manners.  i.e.:  Loving Kindness sweeps people off their feet.  (Not a bad thing for Christians.)

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