I was once a pretty good strutter. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but in high school I dragged myself out of bed at 4:30 in the morning, not because I was taking a special class before school started, not because I was doing chores, not because I was praying for my family or my classmates, but because it took me two hours to make myself “beautiful enough” to show my face at school. No joke. And one entire hour was devoted to curling my hair.
I recently read about strutting in the Bible in The Message version. It says this in 1 Corinthians 13, the “love chapter”:
“Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-7, MSG)
Hmmm… Love doesn’t “strut” or have a “swelled head.” (verse 4) Most other versions say, “Love doesn’t boast; it is not arrogant.” Ultimately, this passage is describing God, because God IS love. So what does it mean that GOD doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t boast, and isn’t arrogant?
I think the world is celebrating what this means right now:
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil. 2:4-8, ESV)
God has a lot to strut about, a heck of a lot more than an insecure teenager fretting in front of a mirror for two hours every morning. And yet He embraced humility to the point of reducing Himself to a human, lived among us for 33 years, and then suffered the ultimate act of humility–the exact opposite of strutting–and died on a cross to save you and me.
Remember how much Love humbled Himself for you as Christmas approaches.
Happy December 19th!
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