“Love is patient, love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrong doing but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never ends. And now faith, hope and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8,13.
These words were written by Paul to the church in Corinth. It is a very well-known and popular passage about love. It describes how love acts, what love does and does not do.
We have already talked about how love is a decision; an act of the will and is something we choose to practice. This is an expansive understanding of love than merely thinking of love as a feeling or emotion. In what ways does this passage describe love as a decision?
Here, at Knox we often suggest to our children and youth to read this passage this way – read the passage through, but substitute the word “I” for the word “love”, so that it reads, “I am patient, I am kind; I am not boastful, etc.” Reading it this way helps us to see how well we are living up to the ideals of love that it represents.
As you read it this way, is there a phrase or word that has special importance to you? What do you need to become aware of, for yourself? As you strive to love more fully, are there parts of this passage you need to take to God in prayer?
Linda Ashfield, minster at Knox Waterloo