4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude.
Need I say more? LOVE. Can you hear the Beatles song playing in your head? “All you need is love….”.
Paul’s writing is short yet powerful, one that is hard to say more about – it truly speaks to us, needing no interpretation. How many times have we read this verse? How many times have we heard this chapter read at weddings or preached upon in sermons. I love the gentle reminder to be patient and kind. This is a wonderful chapter in Corinthians and just makes me smile, almost melt, reading it. There is a calmness present in the way Paul writes it, almost forcing us to sit back, relax, and enjoy the thought of love. This chapter could be viewed as a bit sappy, but it serves as a reminder to us as to what is truly important: How love rules over all else. Oh how we need more love in the world today, not just at weddings!
Why do you think Paul writes about love right now? Maybe he thinks people are caught up in their spiritual gifts? Maybe even in the length of their hair? Maybe he believes people have forgotten the commandment to Love One Another as they show dissent between their beliefs? Paul is trying to bring people back to unite in the church by reminding them of the importance of love, highlighting what love is and what is isn’t. I think of the words “unity” and “harmony”
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
What about this part of the chapter? Dig into this further and Paul presents a view that, at times, love is hard. So you are supposed to bear all things, meaning harmful words or actions from others and still show love? Yes! Endure all things. Another hard part. What about Jesus enduring death on the cross to show his love and sacrifice? What a powerful sign of his love for us and for his father. Cancer? Endure it with a loved one and still love God when you are questioning why that person or why me? Love is present and should be a source of comfort to help us through tough moments. If you have love, you have enough to survive. Tough sometimes! I have a friend who just lost her father to cancer. So hard to see him suffer and to watch her “endure”. Yet, he was faithful through it all, continuously stating that it was up to the Lord. She showed endurance and strength, loving as much of him as she could and spending time with him as he suffered. A perfect example of love even when it was hard, and I commend her.
8 Love never ends.
My favorite part of the chapter. It truly never ends. God never loses his love for us just like a mother never loses love for her child. It never ends ; “abounding in steadfast love”. How do you feel about this three-word sentence Paul states: “love never ends”? Does it give you hope in some of your trying days? It does me. No matter if we have a bad day, or we do something or say something that is not right, God still loves us. The hard part for me is sometimes feeling guilty. I might have a thought drift in my mind that isn’t positive, yet God still loves me. I might have a coworker who frustrates me, and yes, I’m still supposed to love that person. Hard, huh? You bet.
3 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The closing to this happy chapter says it all. We have faith in God, in eternal life and in his promises. We hope for better things in the world today and in heaven tomorrow. And we love. I say “happy chapter” because it reminds us of what is important. Loving ourselves, loving others and loving our God. If we pause long enough and ponder just how much love we have for others and they have for us, it is abounding. Yes, it may seem sappy, but sometimes, we need that! Think about a world filled with more love. If each of us reached out one more time each day to show love to another person, I wonder what we could do together? We don’t have to wait for the next wedding to relish in this chapter. Show your love today!