Read: 1 Corinthians 16

Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13–14

Growing up, kids used to fight each other on the playground, behind the school, or in the bathroom to prove their strength and worth. Bloody lips, black eyes, and defeated foes were badges of courage. As we age, physical demonstrations of strength give way to the battle to move up the corporate ladder and to continually acquire more wealth, prestige, and power. But even as we rack up impressive accomplishments, we are still not showing the strength the Lord wishes us to have.

Biblical courage and strength are always connected to love, for loving is often the most difficult and humbling act a human being can engage in. Love is worth fighting for and working at. It takes courage to love your spouse when others seem more alluring. It takes firmness of spirit to love the child who disappoints you time and time again. It takes strength to respond in love to that employee who is not as gifted or as bright as the rest. To God, a person of great strength and courage is a person who possesses great love.

Is your love strong and courageous?

Lord, it is easy to get angry and frustrated when the people around me do not live up to my expectations. It is difficult to love myself when I feel as though I am falling short. On my best day and on my darkest day, help me to have the courage and strength to respond to those around me with love. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.