Saturday, October 9, 2010
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never ends. 13So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8a, 13
This oft quoted scripture is usually heard in the context of a wedding ceremony or when talking about marital relationships. The sermon from last weekend highlighted the fact that this is about agape love not marital love. This sermon really spoke to me and convicted me on how I sometimes interact with my family.
First and foremost the love expressed here is NOT love the emotion. Emotions are completely unreliable and many times lead us astray. Just think back to how you felt yesterday or last week or last month. How consistent are your emotions? What influences your emotions? How do your emotions effect how you interact and react to others? Yes, we are emotional beings, but our lives, actions, and decisions should not be controlled by our emotions.
Love is an action verb. From various sources, this type of love can be described as an unconditional, purposeful and deliberate love that is self-less and involves affection, benevolence and concern for the loved one. OK, so this is certainly something that I cannot do on my own and the need for Jesus is obvious.
The first part of this passage describes how regardless of your strengths and gifts, if you don’t have love your abilities are useless. You can have infinite faith, boundless knowledge, give away all that you have, and the gifts of tongues and prophesy, yet without love they are useless. That is a pretty powerful statement. These are things we pray for and strive for, yet without one little element, love, they have no use for the user or for others.
I felt most convicted by the second part of the passage. God spoke to me during the sermon that I need to interact with my children and husband in a more loving way. I need to not only watch the words that I say, but HOW I say them and even the words that I don’t say. Love is patient-it goes without saying that I need all the patience I can get with a strong willed 4 years old, an i-want-to-be-independent potty-training 2 year old and a completely dependent 2 month old. I could continue to go on, but I'm sure you get the picture.
I think verses 7-8a sum it up nicely: 7Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never ends. Thanks to a FB friend (thanks Glenda!) I read a quote from D L Moody:
"Joy is love exalted; peace is love in repose; long-suffering is love enduring; gentleness is love in society; goodness is love in action; faith is love on the battlefield; meekness is love in school; and temperance is love in training."
We should strive for the two greatest commandments:
And he [Jesus] said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets"