Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Observation: Paul highlights the importance of love above all other things.
Application: 1 Corinthians 13 – also known as the cliché love verses. Have you ever been to a wedding where they didn’t read 1 Corinthians 13?
Truthfully, Paul didn’t write these words specifically so married couples would have a guideline about how to live (or a perfect set of verses to read on their wedding day). He wrote these words as guidelines for all relationships, to show us that true love is boundless and binding and beautiful.
Love is everything.
“If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” (verse 3)
Let’s love others – as daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, neighbors, co-workers, friends, bosses. Let’s use these words to guide our relationships to bond us and to free us into everything love has for us. We are all called:
- To be patient
- To be kind
- Not to be jealous of others
- To avoid boasting or being prideful of our accomplishments
- Not to be rude
- Not to be irritable (ever…even when we’re hungry, annoyed, tired, or frustrated)
- To keep no record of wrongs (keep the past in the past)
- To rejoice when the truth comes out – even when that truth is hard and difficult and ugly
- To never give up (so learn how to forgive quickly)
- To never lose faith (because God can restore all)
- To always hope
- To endure all
Hopeful, joyful, patient, kind, compassionate, truthful – this is how we are called to love all people at all times and through all things. We love when we forgive quickly, endure patiently, and live selflessly.
Love requires immense effort and incredible humility, a daily lesson in putting others above ourselves. Love is perfect, but unfortunately, we’re not – so we mess it up a lot. Thankfully, true love is also gracious and forgiving and affords us endless second chances.
Love is everything – our highest goal, our purest desire, our most noble pursuit. Live with love today.
Prayer: God, I pray for the ability to love in a way that’s patient and kind, a love that isn’t prideful or boastful, a love that forgives and fights for truth and always remains hopeful. I pray for the ability to model that today.