2.16.2014

Sunday Scripture - 1 Corinthians 13:1-8

1 Corinthians 13: 1-8a. Most people know it. It's the love chapter. I was reading through some old posts of mine and found that I had talked about these verses almost exactly two years ago today... Since it also happens to be two days after Valentine's day, I figured this was a good one to revisit.

In case you aren't familiar with the passage, here you go:

13 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. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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.
I truly believe that LOVE can fix any problem, any situation, any division, any hurt, any jealousy, any anything. Because of that, I want it to be said of me that I love. And I mean this in so much more than a romantic way. Don't get me wrong: I desire to one day have a husband that I will get to love for the rest of my life, however, I don't think that is the end all and be all of love.

I believe that with love (genuine, selfless, Christ-like love), we can do anything.


Love forgives sins (1 Peter 4:8 - love covers a multitude of sins), mends relationships (Proverbs 17:9 - he who covers an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats a matter separates close friends; Proverbs 10:12 - hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs), causes fear to flee (1 John 4:18 - perfect love drives out fear), and reveals Jesus to the world (John 13:35 - By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another). And that's hardly an exhaustive search of the Bible.


This world is angry and hurting and full of so much hate (if you don't believe me on this one, read the news). They need to see people full of God's powerful and life-changing love.


I read somewhere once (I don't remember, so please don't ask. lol) that you can substitute Jesus' name for all the times they say love in the passage above and it still is 100% true. As in love Jesus is patient, love Jesus is kind...etc etc. And how true is that! Jesus is patient and kind. He is not envious, boastful, or proud. He does not dishonor others. He is not self-seeking or easily angered; and he keeps no record of wrongs. He does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. Jesus always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Jesus NEVER fails.


(Side note: We can also trade Jesus for the other times that Paul uses love in that passage. For example: "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love Jesus, 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 Jesus, 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 Jesus, I gain nothing". We are nothing if we do not have Jesus...but that's a whole other can of worms.)


If we are to be like Jesus (which we are), I believe that we should also be able to substitute our own name in place for love...It'd go something like this (with your own name, of course lol): Natasha is patient (uhh...no comment). Natasha is kind (sure, sometimes). Natasha does not envy (yikes). Natasha does not boast (all the time??). Natasha is not proud (sorta)...etc etc.


Wow! When you look at it that way, you begin to see all the areas that you need to work on. You begin to see that, hey, maybe I'm not loving as well as I think I am! So, I challenge you today to swap love for your name. And then in every instance where it becomes a false statement, pray that God would make you more like him. Take steps to make yourself more patient, kind, humble, trusting, faithful, etc etc.


Before you think that I'm trying to bash you and make you feel bad...realize that the beauty in this method is that it doesn't exclude any of us from work because none of us are perfect. Yes, maybe you've got kindness down, but you realize that you aren't so patient at times or maybe you're not self-seeking but you're really bad about holding onto past wrongs and so on.


We all need to work at being more like Jesus...and since Jesus is love (1 John 4:8 - Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love), love is good place to start!

2 comments:

  1. I meant to read this but then forgot so thank you for the reminder! Side note: I LOVE your side note! Now on to the dreaded part, Olivia is patient (I'd say so) Kind (a fair amount) Envy (I could use some help in this area) Boasting and arrogance (even more help needed) Rude (Lord help me!)....I'll stop there, seeing as I have more than enough to work on. Well written big sis!

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