1 Corinthians 13:1-13
13 Suppose I speak in the languages of human beings or of angels. If I don’t have love, I am only a loud gong or a noisy cymbal. 2 Suppose I have the gift of prophecy. Suppose I can understand all the secret things of God and know everything about him. And suppose I have enough faith to move mountains. If I don’t have love, I am nothing at all. 3 Suppose I give everything I have to poor people. And suppose I give myself over to a difficult life so I can brag. If I don’t have love, I get nothing at all. 4 Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor other people. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs. 6 Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. 7 It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up. 8 Love never fails. But prophecy will pass away. Speaking in languages that had not been known before will end. And knowledge will pass away. 9 What we know now is not complete. What we prophesy now is not perfect. 10 But when what is complete comes, the things that are not complete will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child. I thought like a child. I had the understanding of a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 Now we see only a dim likeness of things. It is as if we were seeing them in a foggy mirror. But someday we will see clearly. We will see face to face. What I know now is not complete. But someday I will know completely, just as God knows me completely. 13 The three most important things to have are faith, hope and love. But the greatest of them is love.
The focus of this whole passage is the enduring significance of love. Many things will come and go, and they are useful and important for a time, but in the end they shall pass away… prophecy, special knowledge and tongues shall come to an end. The underpinning of our faith is love – a patient, kind, selfless, righteous and forgiving love. An unconquerable goodwill towards God, ourselves and others.
Am I daily receiving this love from God? Am I daily giving this love away? Am I truly living as if love is the ‘greatest of these’, or am I treating it as ‘a great suggestion’?
Lord, please forgive me for getting distracted by so many other lesser things that cry out for my attention and affection. I want my life to be about love. I want to be caught up in the dance, the give and receive, of love. Please help me to strip back the business and narrow my focus to love. Amen.
Written by Beth Waugh