ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION: Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.
WAGES AND COMPENSATION: You pay them. Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.
BENEFITS: While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life. Potential opportunity to be called “Grandma”.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
What is love? Love is patient. Patient means waiting a long time before the you give in to anger. It’s having a long fuse. It’s the quality of self-restraint in the face of being provoked, so that we do not act before we think.
As we all know, this is not always easy to do. We can jump to conclusions, we can be offended and we can become angry. It’s not easy to be patient when we are being hurt. Anger can be quick and explosive. It’s not easy to not act on it.
Paul continues be telling us not only is love patient, but love is also kind. Love sees people’s imperfections and still cares. The word kind comes from the word “to use.” This is meant to be an active form of love. It is a call for you and I to make ourselves useful. Christ spent so much time and energy simply helping people. That’s a great demonstration of love which we can also do for our heavenly Father. To be kind to His children. Everyone needs kindness, you do, and I do. This verb is a call to serve others.
This is followed by what love is not.
Love is not envious. When we envy, we begin to plot and plan a way to get what the other person has. Beware of envy. Cain’s envy of Abel’s acceptable worship pushed him to murder his brother. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery because of envy. Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den because of the envy of his fellow officials in Babylon. Real love does not resent the blessings, successes, or well-being of another.
Love does not boast. Boasting is defined as bragging. To brag means you’re a show off who needs more attention. Boasting usually pulls people away from you. A boaster is only interested in themselves. You tell them about your upcoming surgery and they one up you by telling you about their bigger and better surgery.
Love isn’t proud. Proud means “puffed up”. It means you are full of yourself. The proud person boasts or toots their own horn and sees others as inferior. Puffed-up people have an exaggerated opinion of their own importance. They often assume their happiness, well-being, opinions, and feelings are the only things that really count. Do we pray only for ourselves and our own interests, or do we also pray for others?
Love is not rude. We can easily be rude to one another. We’ve all been there, we’ve all done it, we’ve all experienced it. Love doesn’t dishonor others. Love does not insist on its own way. Those who insist on having their way are manipulative. So, the person can have what they want.
Love is not irritable or provoked. How often do we irritate others; often times we do it intentionally. I’ve done it. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. It’s a bookkeeping term which means “to count up, to take account of,” as in a ledger. The thought is keeping score or the desire to settle the account. How many times have we kept a record of what people have done wrong?
1 Peter 3:9 “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do and He will bless you for it.”
“Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you.” That’s a hard one, isn’t it?
If someone cuts into the checkout line at the grocery store what do you do? If someone tells a lie about you and you find out about it what do you do? We don’t start fights but we’re ready to jump in if someone else starts one. But, God is calling us to a higher level than that. Romans 12:15-21 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, I will take revenge; I will pay them back, says the Lord. Instead, If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads. Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Let’s pray for all women on this day. Thank you for the mother who gave birth to us, the one who adopted us, and the one(s) who mentored us along the path of life. Those who are mothers, may you feel loved, honored, and supported in whatever form of mother you are — biological, foster, adoptive, spiritual. May your children call you blessed. For the one whose child did not live to take a breath or left the earth too soon, we pray for comfort. For those who are struggling with guilt, shame, and feelings of not being enough, we claim your healing redemption upon their lives. We lift up to you the women who want to have a child and struggle with infertility or difficulties of carrying a baby to term. Comfort them as only you can. Those who never had a mother, may you be supported by spiritual mothers that can help fill that void. Comfort the girls and women who no longer have their mother here on earth. Those with strained mother relationships, may you be allowed the right to celebrate or not celebrate as you see fit. Mother’s with strained child relationships, may you feel honored as a mother even if the honor doesn’t come from your kids. Those who have chosen not to be mothers, may you feel respected in your choice to abstain and not treated as less than. May you be honored as a woman and the nurture you bring to those in your life.
God, grant each woman, mother, and daughter the peace that passes all understanding to guard the hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
In Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.