Gratitude is a sure way to remain in the Spirit and so live a life that demonstrates our Creator’s love for us. 1 Corinthians 13:4 reads, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast.” To demonstrate philo, or brotherly love, is truly the state of mind that defines peace. We do not waste our time in envy, looking up at people who have more than we do, or should I say who we “perceive” to have more than we do. We also do not spend our time judging in a prideful way how much better we are than the people we “perceive” to be below us.
If we are at peace with ourselves and God, there are no material riches that can surpass that state of being. Our whole purpose should be to help the people ahead of us and to serve the people who are behind us on the path. Our inspiration should be none other than Jesus who, being the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant. Being made in human likeness and being found in appearance a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on the cross. Therefore, God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name. (Philippians 2:6-9). This perfect example of humility should be our inspiration and can only be fulfilled by living in the spirit of love.
“Love is not proud” (1 Corinthians 13:4). When you live your life in this way, the freedom you receive is that you do not take anything personally. It is not about you. You are learning that there are a number of people in this world who are spiritually sick. Just turn on the news in our 24-hour information world. CNN rules the day, constant negative news. It makes people wonder more than ever, “Where is God?”
Here is an easy exercise for you, to start naming the results of all this news from living in the Spirit. Remember, “love is patient, kind. It does not envy, boast. It is not prideful, rude, or self-seeking, easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:4) Imagine what the news would look like. Would there be any need for the news? Corruption, war, starvation, hatred, and injustice would be no more.