Saturday, May 26, 2007

Do you want victory over your critical attitude?

Do you want victory over your critical attitude?

"Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:8

One of Abraham Lincoln's earliest political enemies was Edward Stanton. In one speech he called Lincoln a "low, cunning clown." In another he said, "It's ridiculous to go to Africa to see a gorilla when you can find one just as easily in Springfield, Illinois." Yet Lincoln never responded. Why? Because "Love is patient, love is kind" (1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV). This kind of love is not passive endurance, it's active good will. It's not just standing across the room saying, "That person drives me bananas so I'm going to steer clear of them." No, it's crossing the room and finding a way to physically (or in conversation) embrace them. Lincoln did that. When he was elected President and needed a Secretary of War, guess who he chose? Edward Stanton. When friends asked why, Lincoln said, "Because he's the best man for the job." Years later as the slain President's body lay in state, Edward Stanton looked into the casket and said through his tears, "There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever seen." His animosity had been broken by Lincoln's long-suffering, non-retaliatory spirit.

Is someone injuring you? Have they chosen a place of opposition in your life? How are you responding? Do you want victory over your critical attitude? Then by an act of your will - forgive them, move toward them with grace and begin to love them. Then watch God bring victory in a way you never could, because "Love [the God kind] never fails."

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