As you realize how much words tie together, it becomes a lot more fun reading this puzzle we call scripture. Case in point for today, 1 Corinthians 13, sometimes known as the love chapter. Here’s a different way to read the love chapter that you might not have before.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 states, “4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 [b]bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
So love is all of these characteristics. Now think about that reading the previous three verses.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 states “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”
Did you see that?
No? Okay, let me show you what I see. “If I speak with tongues of men and of angels, but do not have (patience, kindness, non-jealousy, non-bragging, non-arrogance, non-unbecomingly actions, non-seeking of its own, non-provocation, not wrong suffered accounting, non-rejoicing of unrighteousness, truth-rejoicing, things-bearing, things-believing, things-hoping, things-enduring), then I am just a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” It’s interesting when you remember those characteristics each time you see the word love in this chapter. All these characteristics we strive to exemplify together in reflecting of love are greater than speaking in tongues and prophesy and having all faith.
Something even as powerful as giving away all of your things and surrendering your body doesn’t matter if you don’t do it in reflection of those characteristics of love in your thoughts and actions towards others.
I’m sure this way of reading this chapter has probably been read this way many times before, but it’s just intriguing to think about. Are you reflecting these characteristics of love in the things that you do?
Peace to you all in Christ.