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.1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Look carefully at these qualities of love. Consider them in the context of the gifts, especially in the context of the partisan spirit that leads to dissension and factions. But also too in terms of feelings of jealousies and competitiveness related to the gifts. In countering the jealousies and dissension Paul attempts to redirect their thoughts toward loving one another, helping each other, caring for each other and living harmoniously. Oh yes of course it is a classic standard statement on love. So much so that the world have adopted it, EVEN THOUGH IT IS FROM THE BIBLE. Yes the words are eloquent, insightful and packed with truth about love. But stop and take it in its related context. The context relates to the gifts. Paul is challenging the Corinthians to think differently.
- I will show you a much better way. [CEV]
- I will show you a still more excellent way. [ESV]
- Best of all, however, is the following way. [GNB]
- You only want the better gifts, but I will show you the best thing to do. [GW]
- And yet some of you keep competing for so-called “important” parts. But now I want to lay out a far better way for you. [MSG]
I like the way the Good News Bible, God’s Word version and the Message translate the verse because it ties it closely with the issue of the gifts and so it should. What follows is indeed related to the issue of gifts and the “competition for the important parts”. Do you see how using different versions can help your understanding?
Love is patient and kind and is not jealous of gifts. It is not boastful of who has what gift. Not proud of the gift it has, not rude toward others. Love does not demand its own way over gifts or interpretations. It is not irritable or irritated over gift related issues. Keeps no record of wrongs done to it. Rejoices when the truth wins out. Do you see how easily this relates to the issue of partisanship over the gifts of Spirit? This is all why Paul says I will show you a better way. It’s all related to the gifts of the Spirit but of course leaves us with some strong love principles and something to preach at wedding ceremonies.
Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition.Alexander Smith
Piglet: “How do you spell LOVE?” Winnie The Pooh: “You don’t spell it. You, feel it.”from A A Milne
Love can only really be seen and felt through words and action.Joyce Meyer
Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.Karl, age 5