Who can I love on today?


1 Corinthians 13:Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. 

Paul is writing to a community of believers in conflict. One aspect of this conflict is their creation of a hierarchy according to spiritual gifts. The more impressive gifts are more important and so some people are more important than others. In this chapter Paul pushes back on this way of thinking, writing that “love” is more important than any of the spiritual gifts in the community. It’s also something everyone can do, not just the select few. To think otherwise is to think like a child. Two thoughts come to mind for me here:

First, this passage reminds me of Jesus’ disciples who debated among themselves who was the greatest. This too was childish thinking, but it’s pretty normal. People have a propensity to create hierarchies, especially when we get to occupy the top rather than the bottom. But the invitation of Jesus is an invitation to the bottom rather than the top, to serve rather than to be served.

Second, a book I’m reading suggests one reason younger people (in general) are resistant to the church is because what they see the church doing and what they hear the church saying often doesn’t look or sound like “love”. Instead it sounds like condemnation and judgment. While this is not true of all churches, and secular media tends to reinforce this image of the church, it’s not completely wrong either.

Finally, in light of this passage I’m praying about love (from the Greek word “agape” = acting on behalf of another expecting nothing in return). Who can I “agape” on today? Lord show me the way. Amen.

One thought on “Who can I love on today?

  1. Lyn Roger Zastrow

    One problem with the youth is that when they don’t see love, then it must be the binary alternative – hate. They confuse apathy with hate. In a secular world, there is a lot more apathy.

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