Everyday Loving

  

Having just celebrated Valentine’s Day--a day dedicated to love—I thought this would be a good time to review one of the great passages in the Bible regarding love, 1 Corinthians, chapter 13. I, like thousands of other couples, included this passage as one of the readings at my wedding, so it is near and dear to my heart. Here is the passage as interpreted in “The Message.”

 

“If I speak with a human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain “jump” and it jumps, but I don’t have love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of trust,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

…we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”

Although Valentine’s Day can sometimes appear to be contrived and a subtle act of consumerism, the underlying message of having a day to express our love to others is a great thing. When Jesus was asked which is the most important of all of God’s commandments in Matthew 22:37-40, He answers “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence. This is the most important, but there is a second set beside it on the list and that is to love others as you love yourself.”

Of all God’s teachings, lessons and guidance, the most important of these is to love God and equally important is for us to love one another. And, just so we aren’t confused by semantics and definitions, in 1 Corinthians 13 God spells out what behaviors express love. Given Jesus’ command in Matthew 22: 33-37, shouldn’t everyday be Valentine’s Day and dedicated to loving one another? Sounds daunting, but isn’t that what Jesus is calling us to do?

Kelley Evans


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