God's word in today's world

A lesson in love from road rage


1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Our family went to get three number 5s at McDonalds in Stellenbosch. First they got the order wrong and brought us McFeasts. We waited patiently in the number 1 parking place. Fortunately, our order came quickly and we were on our way, turning right and stopping at the four-way stop. As I moved off, with the car sort of half-way over the line, someone came from the left across the stop street, right in front of us.

From fright and surprise I gave a little toot on the hooter. Immediately the guy came to a stop in the middle of the street, jumped out of his car and stormed right up to me: “You want to say something to me?” he asked aggressively. Checking where his hands were (in case he wanted to hit me) and making plans to avoid that, I said: “You drove right in front of me.”

“That’s your opinion,” the man said, turned around and got back into his car, rushing off again. For a couple of seconds we sat there quite stunned in the middle of the street. We simply had to smile at this monkey. “Have a good day,” was all I got in before the guy flew off in his car.

Wow, there are strange people out there.

Why am I telling you this story? I want to test this guy’s actions against what Paul says to us about love. The question is: In what way does he comply with or not comply with love through his actions:

Love never gives up. Well, he was fairly impatient!

Love cares more for others than for yourself. Absolutely not!

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Maybe my car was better than his?

Love doesn’t strut. Well, this guy certainly thought he was better, bigger, more than the guy behind him.

Love doesn’t have a swollen head. Maybe so …

Doesn’t force itself on others. His behaviour was totally forceful.

Isn’t always “me first,” Ah, did this guy put himself first? He certainly wasn’t thinking about others.

Doesn’t fly off the handle. Ah. Another one he failed with flying colours.

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others. I don’t know how long he will remember this incident. But what I experienced was some of the anger that he brought with him.

Doesn’t revel when others grovel. What I do know is that he wants others to grovel before him.

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth. Nah, this one he fails as well, because he turned the truth of what had happened to his own advantage.

Ok, he fails in all of them and gets 0 out of a 100. You just want to say: stupid! I’m not that bad. But if you go and test yourself against each of these, you’ll soon see that at one time or another you also don’t make it. Too easy to point a finger at someone else, forgetting about the three pointing back at yourself.

These may be too many to remember, but let’s read them again and live all of them: 4Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swollen head, 5doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others …

Reflection

Is there something that you have to work on?

Read these verses again.

Today try and make love visible.

Prayer

Lord, I realise there is so much I still have to learn. There are so many things in my behaviour that I have to change. I must express more of your love inside me to the world out there. Please help me! Amen

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