Monday, November 5, 2012

What is Love?

Dear Readers,
I am not usually very religious on this blog, but I am a woman of strong faith in God.
Today I was reading 1 Corinthians 13, the chapter on Love. Even though I've read it lots of times it really hit home today because I had an interaction with someone that didn't go well. The person decided to cuss at me. Its pretty much the first time anyone in my whole life has done that. I was very angry. I left the situation but thought about it the rest of the day.
Now as I am reading my Bible I am reading about Love. I didn't feel any love for this person who angered me. I felt hate, but as I read it I realized that love is so powerful. Its also an action. Its funny because as I read the beginning of the chapter I feel like its talking about all my hobbies: learning languages (speak in the tongues of men), the love of knowledge ( love of reading), having faith, giving to charity (not enough, but still). But its saying that all those things are meaningless without Love. I gain nothing.
Below that section it talks about what Love is. Its not a feeling but a list of actions: patience, kindness. Then a list of what it does not do: doesn't envy, doesn't boast, doesn't dishonor others, isn't self-seaking, isn't easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs. These actions convicted me. I couldn't hold on to my anger. I had to let it go. Realize that this person is going through a tough time and is still growing as a person. Being able to let it go relieved so much stress as if a heavy burden had been removed.

I hope these words mean something to you if you need it today. I know I needed to hear it. I've included the full text below:

New International Version (NIV)
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If 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. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love 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. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When 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. 12 For 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.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

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