Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Amy's Fortune Cookie Principle

Last week, while my husband and I were meeting with our Core Group* we started reading the famous (and infamous) 1 Corinthians 13. Adrian, my husband, pointed out that this part of the Bible is used all the time at weddings, yet when you look at its placement in the book of 1 Corinthians it is meant for so much more. 

Take a minute and look at what Paul (the writer of 1 Corinthians) is talking about in the chapters before and after chapter 13. Chapter 12 addresses our gifts from God's Holy Spirit as well as how we were created to use them in our relationships with other believers. Chapter 14 continues the discussion of gifts but in the context of worship- our relationship each other and with God. 

With that being said, then would it be fair to say that using Chapter 13 primarily at weddings would be limiting it's purpose?

This is where the Fortune Cookie Principle comes into play...

Growing up, whenever my family ate out at an asian restaurant our favorite part of the night was reading the fortune cookies  out loud. One of the greatest things my parents taught me was to laugh. To make the fortune cookie "proverbs" funnier, my siblings and I would add "in the bedroom" or "in the bathroom" to the end. 

Here is an example of some fortune cookie proverbs: "Everything will now come your way..." or "Keep up the good work and you will be rewarded..." Those are not too funny until you add on the "in the bedroom" or "in the bathroom". :)

The proverbs, or wise counsel, that Paul writes to us in 1 Corinthians is meant to be applied to all of our relationships. Read it this week and add on whatever reminder you need to remind you to extend the wisdom of 1 Corinthians 13 where you need it most.

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1 Corinthians 13: With the fortune cookie principle. ;)

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains,but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Here is where you add the fortune cookie principle:

Love is patient, ... in the office, in the bedroom, with my kids..etc.
love is kind ... in the office, in the bedroom, with my kids..etc.
It does not envy, ... in the office, in the bedroom, with my kids..etc.
it does not boast, ... in the office, in the bedroom, with my kids..etc.
it is not proud. ... in the office, in the bedroom, with my kids..etc.
It does not dishonor others, ... in the office, in the bedroom, with my kids..etc.
it is not self-seeking, ...
it is not easily angered, ...
it keeps no record of wrongs....
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. ...
It always protects, ...
always trusts, ...
always hopes, ...
always perseveres....
Love never fails. ...

But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

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For me, I often need to remember this with some add on that has to do with my marriage. I am quicker to practice what I preach with others outside of my home rather than the people God has put in my home. For you, your greatest struggles may be happening in your work, with your children, or with your in-laws. Write this verse where you will see is but add this fortune cookie principle. God can only move in relationships where we let him. Make this your prayer this week and start putting it into action. You will be amazed at how much God can move!

*Our Core Group is a local group of friends who we meet with on a regular basis to study the Bible with and encourage each other in all the ups and downs of life.

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