1 Cor 13 is about love. Vs 1-3 describes a mandate for love, and that without love, fervor and zeal are empty. With those verses we are presented with the idea that we must have love, but we still don’t really have much information about what love is or does.
Verses 4-6 defines qualities of love:
- Is patient
- Is kind
- Rejoices in truth
- Bears all things
- believes all things
- hope all things
- endures all things
This list seems so impossible, I don’t have words. Only the Spirit can work their meaning into my life.
- does not envy
- does not boast
- is not arrogant
- is not rude
- does not insist on its own way
- is not irritable
- is not resentful
- does not rejoice at wrongdoing
As far as daily life goes, I’ll be the first to say, I’m more the opposite of these. Picture the person who you struggle with understanding the most. How could that relationship not improve if you were the attributes of love listed? Now, it doesn’t make the world perfect, but most of our problems come from our own making.
Envy – do I look at what other’s have or have achieved and desire it more than their continued success? Obviously, making up my own definitions to a degree but I think that’s an accurate way to gauge if my thoughts about someone else are envious.
Does not insist on its own way – sticking to me here. How many times do I try to negotiate or twist situations so that the outcome I want is the one people are left with? While I love to blame others, I need the Spirit to call this one out in my life more.
Wrapping up – duration of love – never ends. We have love now imperfectly. We experience many loves, for animals, family, friends and spouse, but all of these even together are only a shadow. Each of these loves those shares the quality that love is being known by someone. When we learn about people, experiencing their flaws and failures, and then choose to learn and experience more with them, we are living in love. That act of knowing and being known, of being accepted and having one want to learn and experience more with us, that is the love we will experience with God. Our love for him is the experience we choose to have. When we choose obedience, we are led to trust and lean on Him, and then He makes more of Himself real to us through the situations we experience in that obedience. When we choose sin, our choice causes us to experience a “secret” life away from God and independent of His person. The life we will one day have though is one where we create, explore, and live all while sharing the joys with God. A life where walking with God and walking in the Spirit will be as easy as strolling down a garden path.