How are you? How is your week going? Have you been loving?
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. -1 Corinthians 13:4-7
We may hear this passage read at weddings. It’s so poetic and pretty. We may think that it is so romantic because of how lovely it sounds. But when we look at this more carefully, it’s not romantic at all.
It’s difficult. It’s tough. It’s sacrificial. It’s a death to one’s self: one’s pride, one’s ego, one’s agenda, one’s wants, and one’s control. It’s a loss of self so that we can gain the other. It may be painful (just look at verse 7!), but we’re called to it.
When we take a look at the context of this passage, we see that it’s not a love between a man and his wife. It describes the love of the church. This is how we are called to love.
Does this describe our love for one another? Does this describe our love for our neighbors? Does this describe our love for this world?
The world wants us to love ourselves first. They want us to put ourselves before us and make others sacrifice for us. But the Lord wants us to love in a way that is opposite of the world.
Why does He want us to love like this? How can we love like this? The answer to both questions is the same: We have been loved by Christ in this way.
There is a reason why Paul personifies love in this passage. It’s because love finds its identity and definition in a person: the person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the One who was patient (long-suffering). He is the One who was kind. He did not envy or boast. He was not arrogant or rude. He did not insist on His own way. He prayed, “Not my will but yours, be done.”
He is the One who has loved us first perfectly. Now, we have the power to love in this way.
New Life, may we love with the love of Christ.
See you all for Lord’s Day Worship. Come out to our last Topical Study after fellowship of the year on the topic of Work. Pray for one another.
Photo credit: http://jonvilma.com/love.html#gal_post_197_love-1.jpg