Wednesday, January 21, 2009
How's Your Love Growing
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9-10). Paul is praying that the saints love would "Abound more and more" The love spoken of here is not "Affection," but a sober kind of love that places high value on a person and actively seeks that persons benefit. Paul's desire is this love will be present in growing abundance. This love is not affection, but behavior, behavior that is both pure (coming from a right motive) and blameless (moral purity). Paul is not scolding them for something they are not doing. He is encouraging them to keep it up and all the more so. Paul now prays a second thing. He is praying that along with their ever increasing love, they may experience an ever-increasing knowledge (of God and his will) and moral insight. This is not knowledge about something, but rather the kind of innate knowing that comes from experience or personal relationship. Paul's desire for these believers is for ever-increasing knowledge and moral insight so they may be able to discern what is best. Because in the Christian life, some things matter and others do not. What counts is "Faith expressing itself through love" (Galatians 5:6). Someone said "The good things in life are the enemies of the best." I was in a barber shop recently and observed a mother instruct the barber on how to cut her sons hair. The good barber did exactly what the mother asked him to do. She then went to the manager of the place and complained about the hair cut and refused to pay for it. I believe everyone gave a sigh of relief as she and her son walked out the door. Before we come down too hard on this mother, how many of us are short changing others in key relationships? Are we trading the best for something good? I don't like the lesson this mother taught her son, however I like even less what I teach others when I skim key relationships in my life (called family). How's your love growing? Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.