I Corinthians 13:4-8,13b
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Love is the greatest of all gifts. It is the gift that drove God to send His Son to die in our place. Out of God’s love pour blessings like a roof over our head and a meal on the table. And love is at the heart of what it is to be human. Love is the originator of human life. Love is our parents’ sacrifices for us in our childhood. Love is at the core of every friendship. Love is the source of every gift, every encouragement, and every emotion. We have been given faith to believe in God our Creator and Christ our Savior. We have been given hope to persevere through the many trials of our lives. But the “greatest of these is love.” God gives us the love described in this passage and, because of that love we are able to love others in the same way.
There is a person who has pledged to love me for the rest of my life. He vowed to be my partner and my soul mate. He promised to care for me in all respects (physically, emotionally and spiritually) and to stand with me in “sickness and in health.” I am overwhelmed by the amount of faith and sacrifice it took to make those vows. Sometimes, I can be so selfish. I’ve made so many mistakes and said so many hurtful words and yet, he still loves me. He “keeps no record of wrongs” and his love “is not self-seeking.” And it is because he has given me the love that is described in the passage above, that I have come to know more fully the love that God has shown me. My Savior has shown me indescribable mercy and grace. He loves me beyond comprehension or explanation and, because He has given me someone to share a similar kind of love with, I have found that I am better able to understand my Savior’s love.
Who are you sharing “I Corinthians 13” love with? Have you given anyone a love that “always hopes”? Have you given anyone a love that “always perseveres” and “keeps no record of wrongs”? In John 13:34-35 Christ says, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”