1 Corinthians 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."

So, no matter what I earn, gain, possess, lose, barter, trade, sell, or time-share, it all means nothing if I don’t have love. That makes sense, I suppose.  I could be the most honest, the most gentle, the most honorable person alive, or the most hypocritical, the most treacherous, the most dangerous, the most unsavory person alive, but none of that matters without love. That one is a bit more difficult to grasp, but I guess I can see where they’re going with that one….

"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 is patient, but it is not enabling, right?
And kindness can sometimes be expressed in such a way that it seems painful at first, as in “cruel to be kind?”
To not be envious, well that’s a hard one too. Biblically, God is described as a ‘jealous god,’ and so I wonder if there is a distinction being made between envy and jealousy. Perhaps to envy is to begrudge maliciously what you DON’T have, and jealousy is to guard protectively what you DO have.
Boasting and Pride – To think that your way of loving is better or superior? Yes, I’m certain I do that. Oops. Going to have to work on that one.
So we are to honor our loved ones, putting their needs above our own, and do our best to be understanding so that we don’t get angry with them when they’re acting the fool… That one makes pretty good sense.
Hmmm. Now I’m being encouraged to forgive and forget, and keep ‘no record of wrongs?’ On one hand, I can see how that encourages us to move passed issues that have been resolved and quit throwing things in people’s faces when we get upset the next time. On the other hand, I don’t know if it includes repeatedly putting yourself in the same situations simply because you are supposed to have forgiven someone for it. That’s not very loving of ourselves, which I suppose may or may not be that important.
Loving someone also seems to mean celebrating victories as opposed to pointing fingers and “I told you so’s.” It looks like I’m supposed to delight in other people’s efforts and relish when they succeed, and quit waiting for them to fail and let me down again. Interesting. If the roles were reversed, I think I’d want the benefit of the doubt too. I don’t know that it would be owed to me, but it would still be nice, I’m sure.

"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 completeness comes, what is in part 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 the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a 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."

Maturing. That’s what I get from this passage. I see things differently now because I’m no longer a child, with a child’s perspective. He seems to say that when we take honest looks at ourselves, we gain understanding. The only problem is, looking at ourselves honestly generally sucks because we’re generally never as awesome as we think we are. L BUT, we can, in theory, end up even awesomer since we’ve become aware of areas of growth. This is good news! …. I think.

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

Probably my favorite verse. <3 Faith and Hope are things we can actively pursue or ignore, work at feeling more or less of. But love? Love simply is. How profound is that?


Sarah :: Plucky in Love

Sarah, aka "Plucky", blogs on the reg, unless she's on vacation or there's a Pretty Little Liars marathon or she's mulling over the implications of the phrase "on fleek." She can't live without iced coffee, a portable phone charger, or equal pay. Say hello!

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