This is how we ended the last reading. “But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.” Now we know what Paul was referring to. It’s all about love. This is probably a familiar passage, especially if you’ve attended a wedding. What better setting than a wedding to review God’s ideal way of life! It sets up the newlyweds for success and reminds us all how love works.
We are called to love one another, and Paul describes for us what that looks like. Love is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot for things, like “I love chocolate.” While I am very much a fan of chocolate and will choose chocolate over pretty much any other flavor if given a choice, “loving” it in a Biblical sense doesn’t quite fit.
Without love we are nothing. Our resume may be impressive, filled with accolades and achievements, but Paul cautions that without love we would have “gained nothing.” What does that say to you? It certainly supports Jesus’ instruction to us in John 13:34-35, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
How do we love one another? That is going to vary from person to person. Paul has given us a whole list of descriptors for what love should be like. When our relationships with others are grounded in love, these attributes should be clear.
Think about someone in your life whom you love. This can be a spouse, child, best friend, etc. When you read Paul’s images of love, do you find it easy to agree with Paul? For instance, the first one is “Love is patient and kind.” Do you find that with this person you are more patient and kinder to them than perhaps a stranger on the street?
The other examples, too, can reveal areas where our relationships need a little work. I’ve known couples, for example, who have a hard time forgiving and holding those “wrongs” over the other’s head. While it’s not easy to look past hurtful behavior, God wants us to exhibit our true love in that way. Our love for others must then be deep and unselfish.
If we fall short in loving our loved ones to this degree, how much harder will it be to love others we may not know? Is this kind of love only reserved for people we’re related to or friends with? I don’t think so. We are called to love. Our loving behavior will set us apart from those who are not followers of Christ.
Take some time today to reflect on what love looks like in your relationships. Is there something you can do to love better? Love is going to be around forever. It’s one of those things that can’t be taken from us. Likewise, Paul reminds us, “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”
Let’s pray …
Father God, help me love the people in my life like you do. Thank you for how your Word describes what love is like. Reveal to me the ways I can do more to reflect you and your love for humanity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.