In our last CURE meeting we spoke about spiritual gifts – talents given to us by God that we can use to do His work. One of the major passages on these gifts is found in 1 Corinthians 12-14. What really struck me about this bit on spiritual gifts is the passage that follows, one of the most famous Biblical passages, that none of these things can be done if we do not love.
1 Corinthians 13 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 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 have no love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient; love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there is knowledge, it will pass away… And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1. Love is the key to success in actions: While this passage is generally read at weddings, it was never written with the intent to outline romantic love. Paul describes love as an action – not an emotion – that we should strive to work all aspects of our lives through. In this context, he says that our spiritual gifts, or talents, should be executed with love in our hearts in order to reach the full potential of their actions. Anything that lacks love, even faith, will never truly thrive.
2. Genuine love is a choice: With love described as an action, Paul shows us that it is a choice. We choose to be patient in times of frustration, to be kind when others are unkind, to forgive and not hold a grudge, and to be trusting, protective, and hopeful. It is through this choice that we can be successful in our actions.
This week, make a choice to do everything through love. In doing so, you are committing your plans to God and doing all things through Him.
John 13: 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.