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A challenge to the Flesh, an encouragement to the Spirit

By Daniel Francis

In recent days, I’ve found myself immersed in various approaches to understanding the Bible more deeply. The reason behind this pursuit may raise some eyebrows—why, you might wonder, am I delving into passages I’ve heard countless times before?

The answer lies in a desire to challenge myself, to shake off the complacency that can settle in when familiarity becomes routine. I suspect many of you may find yourselves in a similar predicament, where the richness of scripture is overshadowed by its repetition.

During my exploration, I stumbled upon a particularly intriguing approach to one of the most well-known passages: 1 Corinthians 13:4–5. “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.”

What struck me about this approach was its simplicity yet profound impact. The content creator suggested replacing the word “love” with your own name or appropriate pronoun.

For example, in my case, it reads: “Daniel is patient; Daniel is kind; Daniel is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. Daniel does not insist on his own way; he is not irritable or resentful.”

Once transcribed, the exercise involves a methodical evaluation of each statement. It’s not merely a matter of reading; it’s about introspection.

Am I truly patient? Do I consistently embody kindness in my actions? Proceeding through each attribute, I found myself confronted with a mirror reflecting my own strengths and shortcomings. What emerged was not just a renewed appreciation for the scripture but also a deeper understanding of myself.

This exercise is more than an intellectual pursuit; it’s a journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth. It challenges us to confront our own behaviours and attitudes, prompting us to align our lives more closely with the teachings of the Bible.

It’s a reminder that scripture isn’t just a collection of words on a page but a living, breathing guide for how we should live our lives.

What I found particularly impactful about this exercise is its ability to reinvigorate our relationship with scripture.

It’s easy to become numb to the profound truths contained within the Bible when we encounter the same passages repeatedly. But by engaging with scripture in this way, we breathe new life into familiar words, allowing them to penetrate our hearts and minds in a way they may not have before.

Moreover, this exercise serves as a powerful tool for spiritual renewal. It encourages us to reflect on our own behaviour and attitudes, inviting us to make meaningful changes in our lives. It’s a reminder that the journey of faith is not a passive one but an active, ongoing process of growth and transformation.

As we continue to explore the depths of scripture and our own hearts, let us embrace this challenge with open arms. Let us allow the words of the Bible to penetrate our souls and transform our lives from the inside out.

In doing so, we may find ourselves drawn closer to God and more fully aligned with His will for our lives.


Daniel Francis is a millennial helping other millennials. He is a two-time author of the books The Millennial Mind and The Millennial Experience, and an entrepreneur. Over the past four years, he has served as a Personal Development Coach whose work targets Millennials and helps them tap into their full potential. He is also a self-publishing coach and has guided hundreds on self-publishing their book successfully.


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