1 Corinthians 13:4-7
When my young daughters were watching Disney movies, Beauty and the Beast was always my favorite. The characters illustrate the do’s and don’ts of love that Paul describes. Patience and kindness shine in Belle’s relationship with her father. Her persistent kindness moves the Beast to stop insisting on his own way. Mrs. Potts is a delightful contrast to Lumière and Cogsworth’s irritable bickering. Gaston is a hilarious caricature of boastful arrogance, until he goes too far and isn’t funny anymore. Despite their hardships, Belle and the Beast believe that love can break an evil spell. And it finally does, restoring everyone to their best selves.
Churches include similar characters.
When we say, “She’s so rude,” or, “He’s full of himself,” Paul reminds us to examine ourselves. Was it necessary to embarrass the new members about making the coffee wrong? Shouldn’t I stop comparing myself to the person who “has it all”? Can I move past not getting to choose the carpet color?
Practicing patience and kindness helps us endure all things—even the light-colored carpet that shows every stain. In pursuit of transforming love, may we become a church of Belles.
Where in yourself do you see qualities of what love is and what love isn’t?
Jesus, transform us by your love so that we may grow into our true, best selves, ready to serve and love. Amen.