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I know how to fight better than I know how to love.

I know how to fight better than I know how to love.

JANUARY 3, 2024

/ Programs / Key Life / I know how to fight better than I know how to love.

Pete Alwinson:
I know how to fight better than I know how to love. Let’s talk about it, on this edition of Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
This is Key Life. We’re here to communicate the freeing truth that God’s not mad at His children. Steve invited our friend Pete Alwinson to teach us all this week. Pete is a former pastor, founder of ForgeTruth.Com, and the author of Like Father, Like Son.

Pete Alwinson:
Thanks Matthew. And good morning Key Life. Pete Alwinson here, sitting in for Steve Brown this week. And we are talking about love from I Corinthians 13. Yeah, we’re, our goal is to really talk about what we need to take into the world ahead of us and in a crazy, crazy, crazy world. You know, there are times when we are not very loving and when it’s easier to fight than to be loving. I love the story of the man who got in a fight with his mother in-law on Christmas day. And when he was asked how the fight got started, he said, well, last year I decided to buy my mother in-law a cemetery plot as a gift for Christmas. The next year I didn’t buy her a gift. And when she asked me why I said, well, you still haven’t used the gift that I bought you last year. And that’s how the fight started. All right, that’s not good, that’s not loving. Right? And we’ve all done unloving things. And we’ve all been unloving according to these definitions of love, that we read about in I Corinthians 13. I am so glad for the gospel. I am so glad that God doesn’t accept us based on our perfections and interactions with people because we don’t have them. But he accepts us based on the perfection of Christ and obeying the law perfectly and then taking our curse perfectly for us on the cross. And so, I John 1:9 is one of my go to verses.

Whenever we sin, we confess our sins. He’s faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

And so, today we jump back in knowing that we still have to continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus and to become more and more loving. And we’ve got six more traits that we want to look at today. We looked at the first six yesterday. But today we want to start out with the trait that says this.

Love does not seek its own benefit. Love does not seek its own.

And this phrase really is only two words in the original Greek. And again, we’re looking at this idea from the original language because the language used to write the New Testament is so rich in deeper meanings. And so, this word translated, love does not seek its own, askemen, askemenau, it’s easy for you to say, Agapao is a present active verb. And present active means this is something that you should do today, as well as something that you should do tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after. It’s something that should always be true to us, and it could be translated, not being rude or love does not insist on its own rights. Have you noticed that there are some people who are always fighting for their own rights and privileges and what they think the world owes them. And then there’s some other people that are really amazing. They seem to be working from the position of their duties, their obligations, their responsibilities, or what they want to give, not what they feel they’re owed in life. Well, that’s what Paul is saying Christian love produces in us. We are so richly, abundantly beyond being loved that we could ever imagine that this kind of love that God gives us, gives us a position of steadfastness that enables us to love other people. We’re not always scheming to get what we think belongs to us, but we’re able to seek God’s glory and God’s good in the lives of others. I want that to be true for me. Love does not seek its own. That’s the kind of love, is not very sentimental, is it? It’s really a disciplined kind of love. And then he said, love is not provoked. Now, here goes to the fighting spirit in me. Love is not irritable, is one way we could translate it. Another translator said, Love never flies into a temper. Come on, come on. Another said, love doesn’t become exasperated. All right. Confession. When I get exasperated and it shows it always brings negative results in my relationships. Now, there are times I get exasperated and I can cover it up, but sometimes I don’t. And when I, when it ekes out of me, it always puts people back in their chair. It’s never a good thing. And I found that even as I get older, that tendency toward exasperation in some situations isn’t gotten easier, but gets worse. And so, this trait of love that can only come from God, is a love that is not easily exasperated or irritable. And it’s true that you got to lead yourself before you can properly lead other people. Here’s a good question. What ticks you off? What irritates you? What are some of those little things that others do that send you off. That’s where the Holy Spirit might want to come in and give you a greater sense of grace control in the coming year. Well, number nine, Paul says, Love does not keep an account of a wrong suffered. Love does not keep an account of a wrong suffered. And one person translated it this way.

Love does not store up the memory of any wrong it has received.

Oh, I think that is a great visionary goal for 2024 that we would become people who are not accountants or spiritual accountants or relational accountants. That whenever we get hurt, we mark it down in bold ink and refer to the ledger of offenses that have happened against us. In fact, what this characteristic of love demands is that we really do the hard work of forgiving on a regular basis. Doesn’t keep an account of a wrong suffered means I’ve got to be on a regular basis working through the forgiveness thing with others in our lives. Doesn’t keep an account of the wrong, which means I’m able to let it go by the grace of God. Recently, I was the pastor officiant at a wedding and an older lady dressed really nicely, just rocking the diamonds, came up to talk to me during the reception. She’d had a glass or two or maybe three of wine already. And she was sweet, but as we talked, I got a full update on her marriage history, including some choice words about her former husband, who was also walking around the reception. She had never let go of the pain. And so with a smile, she was sharing her pain with me and quite frankly, people who didn’t want to know or needed to know. She was a nice lady, but I wonder, you know how I’m going to think about her? Whenever I think about who she is, I’m going to remember what she said. And I hope I don’t leave those impressions with people. Well, as a footnote here, wisdom does dictate that we understand those around us and that there are some people that we simply cannot allow into our inner circle anymore. And so, while we don’t keep into our, keep into account a wrong suffered. We do have to be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove with other people. Grace makes us smarter with other people. We forgive them, but we may not be able to entrust them with key issues in our life. And there’s some Christians that we simply don’t journey with anymore on a really close basis. We’re going to be with them in heaven and it’ll be all right cause there’ll be perfect and so will we, but love is discerning. The apostle Paul also says in I Corinthians 15.

Do not be deceived bad company corrupts good morals.

Well, the love we’re called to, number 10 and 11 go right hand in hand.

Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.

And this is so true because God is holy and therefore righteous in all of his ways with all people all the time because we’re his children, we love what he loves. And it’s also true that we hate what he hates. When there is unrighteousness, we simply can’t be happy about it. We don’t love it at all because unrighteousness involves lives and hurtful behavior. And of course, this is true about our own unrighteous acts as we commit them. Listen, you know something? The longer I follow Jesus, when I sin, I hate it, I don’t like it. And so, we don’t rejoice with our own unrighteousness or with the unrighteousness of others. Last night, I was having a conversation with my wife and I was tired and I said something hurtful and I thought, what in the world motivated that? And I repented right away. Right away. But the fact of the matter is I couldn’t take it back and I repented right away. And I rejoiced right away that God enabled me to see the truth of even my sin at that time. And then finally, Paul says.

Love hopes all things, bears all things, believes all things and endures all things.

Love has the ability to enable us to stand with other people in the mix of the battle. You take it to heart. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Thank you Pete. Again, that was our good friend Pete Alwinson. He’s been teaching us all this week about love and our text has been I Corinthians 13. One more day with Pete tomorrow. Don’t miss that. And remember that if you’d like to share this series with a friend, the easiest way to do that is by finding it at and, hey, while you’re there, be sure to check out the menu on the left. There’s a feature there that I don’t think you and I have ever discussed. It’s the author’s page. Why is that of interest? Well, because it lets you know a little more about our Key Life voices, like Pete Alwinson, Justin Holcomb, Jerry Parries, and Matt Heard. You’ll also find bios for our contributing writers as well, along with links to more content from them. It’s an intuitive and easy way to find more of what you are interested in. And of course, all of our website content is still free thanks to the generous support of listeners, just like you. If you’d like to donate, call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. If you’d like to send your donation by mail, just go to to find our mailing addresses or e-mail [email protected] you can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. And of course, you can now give safely and securely through text. Just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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