Wednesday, May 17, 2017

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 -- On Being Strong and Loving

"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
Let all your things be done with charity."
1 Corinthians 16:13-14

I like how these two verses talk about being firm, manly, and strong, and also loving.  We often (to everyone's detriment) assign different emotions and attributes to different genders, saying in essence, this is manly, and this is feminine, and kind of denying that women can be firm and strong and that's okay, and that men can be loving and compassionate, and that's okay too.

I'm not saying that we're exactly the same and there aren't some valuable differences between us.  I'm just saying that I think we overdo it when we criticize men for crying, or women for not backing down. These verses, and the entire life of Christ and so much else in the gospel shows us that that it's not our job to play a role or to embrace weakness.  We are all made to be whole--strong *and* compassionate, smart and sweet. :)  God tells us that we can make our weaknesses strengths.  That goes for everyone, not just the "weaker" sex. ;)  Just like we shouldn't be saying "oh, I'm bad at that" with basic knowledge or talents, we shouldn't be "bad at" emotions or relationships or hard work or creativity or parenting or leadership.  We can do anything--we're children of God.

Today, let's rely on God's idea of who we are and who we can be rather than the world's.  Let's follow the example of Christ.  Let's learn faith and hope and love, and strength and leadership and brilliance. Let's reach for a potential that is beyond our imagination, letting go of Earthly limitations, and only restricted by the boundaries the Lord has set (for example, being good guys and not bad guys).  Let's not mock men, or women, for showing their emotions.  Let's not judge people based on societal gender expectations, which can get pretty scary sometimes.  Let's treat each other, no matter who, with love and respect and compassion.  And the more we practice, the closer we will be to being able to be a Zion community.

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