One of my favorite verses, and probably the most misunderstood verse in the Bible is from 1 Corinthians 13:13. “Three things will last forever – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love.”
People are confused about love. They don’t fully understand it and will profess love without giving it a thought. And they toss away that perceived love as soon as something better looking in their eyes comes along. Love is usually attributed to physical attraction and romance. But this is not the kind of love God is speaking about in 1 Corinthians 13, often called the love chapter.
Love is an action word. Love involves serving others and loving even those who seem to be unlovable. Loving our enemies, loving those who hurt us, loving our neighbors. Love is eternal.
God’s words tell us that faith is the foundation, hope is the attitude, and love is the action. Only when faith and hope are in line does one understand what God means by love. In this chapter God talks about spiritual gifts, but says love is the greatest. “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. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.”
In a message from the pulpit one Sunday, my Pastor said: “Words without love are insincere; faith without love is hostility, and sacrifice without love is manipulation.” This helped me understand what love should be and what it shouldn’t be.
It is my desire to love as God loves us. He sent Jesus to teach us the meaning of love. And so I want to look at this scripture not just as words, but as a goal to achieve.