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
How many times has your partner come home late from work this week? How many times did you ask your child if they did their homework, only for them not to turn it in?
Earlier in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (in chapter 6) he’s talking about lawsuits (another record of wrong) and he says in verse 7 and 8 “The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters.” In Paul’s mind, it’s better to be cheated and move on then try to ‘get back’ what you lost in the form of a dispute.
As always, Jesus is the shining example of this. Jesus willingly (and wrongfully) lost his life. Instead of seeking revenge on Pilot for handing him over or the crowd, or the chief priests and elders that convinced the crowd to crucify a blameless man, Jesus decided to show us a better way. While he was on the cross, taking his last breath, Jesus cried out “Father forgive them”. He wiped our record clean. While we were still sinners, Christ loved us.
What bitterness are you holding towards someone, or even yourself? How can you let it go today?
With a clean slate,