You know 1 Corinthians 13:3-7 couldn’t come at a better time. I had a difficult time at work last week and reconciled some issues with my father at the end of it. Life was a struggle if I am honest and I know why too.
I am flying away to the Philippines to propose to my girlfriend of two years this Wednesday. As I approach this moment of real and absolute happiness, surrounded in a strong Christian environment and giving thanks to God, evil seeks to destabilize my life.
To test me, to create hardship and to use others to attack me. It’s happened before, several times, and each and every time I have defeated it. Evil however never gives up and it goes on searching for cracks in the armor.
If 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. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
These verses really challenge us all to look at ourselves. It challenges us to say are you really doing all of this? Are you really honoring the life of Jesus. I can honestly state that I can take each and every one of these boxes.
The one exception to this is someone who denies my faith and actively persecutes me. That person, I have confirmed in scripture, is not someone I need concern myself with anymore. This person is so completely dominated by evil and I have no doubts that they will be appropriately taken care of.
They are, and never were, my problem. God has taken them away from me, metaphorically speaking, and is dealing with them separately.
These verses also got me thinking about the love between a man and woman. How it should truly be and what, when we say “I love you”, those words really should be conveying to your partner. Love is so much more than simply liking or being attracted to someone.
It’s so much better than financial stability, a nice house, or a flashy car. Love is about unconditionally supporting and trusting someone. It’s about being so emotionally connected to that person that they have become a seamless extension of your own mind, body and soul.
God has joined you together and you must honour him for what he has done. This week I will be doing precisely that – giving thanks to what God has done.