April 21, 2021

red and white heart balloons - Photo by Christopher Beloch on Unsplash

1 Corinthians 13:3–6 (New Living Translation)
If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

PASTOR’S COMMENTARY

When we examine the Apostle Paul’s words about love alongside Jesus' command to “love our enemies,” we realize most of us fall far short of what Christian love should look like. The truth is that we cannot separate love from forgiveness. This may be why 1st Corinthians 13 is used as an illustration of how Christian marriages should be.

But Paul’s words can and should be applied to every human relationship. Paul starts by mentioning virtues which are admirable spiritual gifts. But if they are not motivated by love, they are of no spiritual value. Paul goes on to tell what love is and what love is not.

God’s Word for today may irritate those who focus solely on all the injustice that occurs in our nation. But Christian love is not “tit” for “tat.” The word “love” used by Paul and Jesus is agape, which means unconditional love. It is to love despite of. Agape has no room for revenge but is always willing to offer forgiveness.

Love is not about “we won” but about the fact that the truth won out.