If I speak in the tongues Or languages of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.1 Corinthians 13, NIV
I’ve been thinking about this version of love for a couple weeks.
Imagine living in a world where every single person you encounter is working to love on others, even at the detriment of self. It would be so awesome to see so much love and positivity all around.
Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in. People are selfish. There are some that would like to take advantage of others. Even more, still, that don’t intend to take advantage/hurt others, but the society that we live in unjustly puts them ahead while holding others back (racial inequality). Some intentionally use other people just to get ahead themselves.
The convicting part, for me, is that it doesn’t matter. God calls us to love in a way that is not self seeking. He doesn’t say “love is not self seeking, as long as everyone else around you feels the same” We are called to selfless love regardless of what the world around us is doing.
People are ‘afraid’ to give money to the pan handler on the street because ‘they may use the money to buy drugs’ or ‘they have a cell phone, clearly they don’t need the money that much’ but that’s not God’s view on love. If someone is asking, we should be willing to help. Because that’s what God’s love truly looks like.
In what ways are you holding back your love due to love of self more than love of neighbor?