1 Corinthians 13:8a “Love never fails!”
If there is one thing that should characterize the Christian’s life, it is love! God is love and we, His children, should represent Him well through our love of others. Love covers a multitude of sins. It is how to deal with conflict . . . or you could say love is the oil that decreases all types of friction.
Last week Dad and I had the opportunity to visit the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, with Luke. The base was hosting a family tour day. So Luke, along with other employees, escorted us through various buildings explaining the daily happenings of this large military installation. While most of what was being described was completely over my head, I still got a simple understanding of the processes that keep our Air Force running smoothly.
One of the departments that captured my attention focused solely on engine oil. I had no idea that oil could be so diverse and so important. But a group of men and women spend every day testing and retesting the various types of oil in order to find the perfect formulas for each airplane engine.
These engineers explained how oil keeps the engine running smoothly and lubricates all the moving parts to reduce friction. The oil also helps to reduce heat so the parts don’t become too hot and burn up. Not only this, but the oil protects the various parts from corrosion that might cause the engine to fail. With the lives of many pilots and passengers at risk, the production of superior oil is crucial! Listening to the engineers describe its critical importance, I could see why they spend so much time perfecting it. The airplanes we rely on would be unsafe and useless without it.
This particular discussion caused me to think about another type of oil . . . one that keeps human relationships running smoothly. Every day we face the potential for conflict among individuals – even those we care deeply about. No one is perfect and things happen, but the oil of love keeps things in working order. When friction occurs love is patient and kind. It is not jealous, arrogant, or self-centered, but instead seeks the other person’s best interests. Love does not act unbecomingly and is not provoked. When tension starts to build and there is a potential for a hurtful quarrel, the oil of love reduces the amount of heat by bearing and enduring all things.
God tells us to speak the truth to one another, but to do it lubricated with the love! He commands us when someone seeks our harm, to love our enemies and to pray for those who despitefully use us. We cannot eliminate all conflicts but the oil of love will keep our own hearts clean, and running at maximum efficiency. Kind words and gestures can reduce unnecessary damage and may possibly save a relationship from complete failure.
The next time you board an airplane give a “hats off” to the engineers of Wright-Patt Air Force Base who have spent countless hours testing the jet engine’s oil. Maybe their hard work will inspire you to do some oil testing of your own. Try the oil of love in all your interactions with people. It should characterize your life as a Christian. It’s how to deal with conflict. It can decrease all types of friction. And God says, “It will never fail!”
If you like Verses from Mama, I invite you to click here and sign up to receive them straight to your mailbox.