A More Excellent Way
TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 13:1-13
Key verse: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” ( 1 Corinthians 13:13 ).
The world's notion of love runs at polar opposite to God-like love which transcends the loose definition and approximation of love in its filial, limited and selfish perspectives. God-like love is what a writer calls the “true love to God and man, a benevolent disposition of mind towards our fellow Christians, growing out of a sincere and perfect devotion to God”.
This chapter on charity (love) is a paradoxical homily, meant to deflate the oversized ego of the Corinthian Christians over their possession of spiritual gifts. The thrust of the message is that, a mere possession of those gifts does not necessarily portray a higher strand of spirituality. Gifts, not ministered with perfect love, is vain and worthless.
The essential virtue, capable of producing the greatest impact with spiritual gifts is charity. What are its components? It is patient, kind and never inflated with its own importance. It does not brag and knows no envy. It does not behave itself unseemly, never insists upon its right and privileges and it is never temperamental. This charity rejoices in the truth, finds no pleasure in evil-doing and does not hold on to the memory of any wrong against it. It is all enduring, absolutely trusting, bears everything with triumphant fortitude and, never for once, ceases to hope.
Every other gift will dry up and soon be forgotten, but love is convincingly permanent, overwhelmingly complete and incontrovertibly supreme. A writer once remarked that “faith without love is cold and hope without love is grim. Love is the fire which kindles faith and love is the light which turns hope into certainty”. The humble and sincere seeker, one who daily seeks after God, will never cease to pray until his/her soul, spirit and body are filled with God's own kind of love.
Prayer Point: Father, rekindle the fire of sincere love in me
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Love is supreme; Jesus proves this.