pointing people to jesus
In Paul's letter to the people of Corinth, he challenges them to point the people around them to Jesus by their actions. He encourages them to mirror the patience, kindness, purity and love displayed in the character of Jesus even amidst severe trials and persecution.
we can do it with the holy spirit
Paul is basically encouraging us to live our life in a way that models excellence in everything- even our work. This, at first, is incredibly discouraging as we are made aware of our lack in our striving for perfection. But, Paul doesn't leave us with an impossible task. He tells us how in his last seven words, "by the Holy Spirit, by genuine love". God empowers us to move in power by the Holy Spirit to love people better than we ever could on our own and to operate in a way so counter-culture that it points people to a relentlessly loving God.
responding with patience and love
I think for us, as we interact with hundreds of people a week, this passage should set the standard for our behavior to the outside world. We want people to be drawn to God's goodness because they can see the Holy Spirit moving in us through the way we behave. When people see Christians respond to difficult situations with patience and love, they see Jesus.
So, as you go through your day, think about your actions- the way in which you talk to people, and how you respond to things when they are thrown at you. Ask God to teach you how to respond when you aren't sure how to respond like Jesus would. We are called to love others like Jesus does, not only when they are nice to us, but also when we are having a hard time loving them. Ask God to help you to do that. He responds when we cry out to Him.
God, I pray that throughout my day today, You would show me how to love like you do and how to still show that Your Spirit is within me even when things don't go my way. Thank You for Your consistency to faithfully respond when I ask You for help. Would You send Your Spirit to fill me so my life, decisions, and actions are an overflow of You working inside of me? Thank You for all You do for me and how You love me. Amen.
- Alex Raines