If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
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.
Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. – 1 Corinthians 13
There’s a lot of noise in the world these days. It seems like I can’t go anywhere or turn on the TV without seeing and hearing noise and hatred and unkindness. It’s all around us. I have a feeling we’d like to believe there have never been times such as these. But the reality is, it’s been like this since Adam and Eve left that beautiful garden! Just the names and locations have changed.
It’s very easy, even for those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus, to get sucked into that noise. So many pillars of faith, some famous and some just in our own life, seem to have lost their way. They’ve fallen for the noise.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, nothing surprises God. He knows all the pain we feel, the hurting of our hearts and the sense of loss we feel for things we deemed to be “normal”. I believe that God is nudging us to turn our focus away from the noise and toward Him.
This past weekend, one of our pastors brought up a unique perspective of a well known piece of scripture. It spoke to me so much, I wanted to share it with you all today.
I Corinthians 13 is called the “Love Chapter” in the Bible because Paul, the author of this letter to the church at Corinth, addresses some of the issues they were dealing with at the time – lack of unity, arrogance about being more spiritual then each other and non-believers and lack of love for each other. God used Paul’s words to remind the believers, and all of us so many years later, that we should live lives of love toward one another. There is nothing more important. The example God provides is really quite simple to understand, just sometimes hard to put into practice.
But here’s the great news…we don’t have to try to figure out how to be love to those who aren’t all on our own; God gives us His example and His Spirit to live the way He wants us to. Its just a matter of letting go of the noise and leaning into the quiet, restful love of our Father!
As you read this familiar scripture, notice how the words seem to come alive when we change the word “Love” to the creator of love, God, and see if God uses these words to wrap you in His loving arms as you head out into your day living in the noise of this world!
God is patient and kind. God is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. God does not demand His own way. He is not irritable, and He keeps no record of being wronged. He does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. God never gives up, God never loses faith, God is always hopeful, and God endures through every circumstance.
Love and blessings to you all!