Love, Etc.

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not 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 have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

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.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I generally prefer 1st John 4, but I’ve posted that passage on this blog several times.  So I will take the Corinthians one today.  And I will say something, which may seem odd or may seem wonderful:

read the last sentence again.  Without love, faith and hope are nothing.  Think about it.  Think about it in terms of God.  In terms like, “without love for God, faith in God and hope in religion mean nothing.”  Think about it in terms of, “without love for my church, all of my biblical learning won’t help me be a better pastor.”

Think about it in terms of how absolute it is.  Without love, nothing.  That’s so absolute.  We need love, and we forget that fact often.  We need love, which means we need each other.  We need people who need us to love them, because we need to love them as much as they need to recieve said love from us.

Today, love someone.  Love them stupidly and extravagantly, with no hope of recieving anything in return.  You just might change their world.

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