Monday, October 24, 2005

Handling Adversity - Prepare Now: Habits of a Loving Heart

Prepare Now
Habits of a Loving Heart

A habit is something that is done naturally almost without thinking with a need and desire to do whatever is the habit. Most of the time we think about habits in a negative sense but a habit in and of itself is not bad. The past two topics have emphasized the need to be in action instead of dwelling the answer to why we’re experiencing suffering and pain as it happens. But, the actions of the Christian are not aimless or random. Instead our plan of action in the face of trouble should already be decided, practiced, and prepared.

There is a book used for reference with the very same title as this lesson, “Habits of a Loving Heart.” It is a complete book on this topic and lays out 12 specific behaviors, or habits, that result from the love that should be a natural part of a Christian. There is no greater text in the Bible for this subject as that of 1 Cor 13:

1Co 13:4 Love has patience, is kind; love is not envious; love is not vain, is not puffed up;
1Co 13:5 does not behave indecently, does not pursue its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;
1Co 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth.
1Co 13:7 Love quietly covers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1Co 13:8 Love never fails. But if there are prophecies, they will be caused to cease; if tongues, they shall cease; if knowledge, it will be caused to cease.

Entire classes have been built that study this subject for 13 weeks which is well worth the time. We’re going to do a brief overview of this material and it is my hope that more time will be taken individually to dwell on and fill your mind with these things.

The actions that Paul describes that pour out of the love inside a Christian are not some kind of casual or superficial love. The love that we may express to friends often comes up very short of acting in a way that 1 Cor 13 describes. The challenge for Christians, and why it must be an ingrained, habitual type of reaction, is that this is the way we should act with everyone. A Christian doesn’t just do these things for friends, family, or those in your local congregation. By constant thought, study, practice, change, and diligence the actions we perform will be a habit springing from the love we have and given to us by our God and Savior.


1. Habit

2. Love


Read through the book “Habits of a Loving Heart” and consider the questions at the conclusion of each chapter as the assignment for this lesson.