A Different Way to Read the Love Chapter


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, “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; [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. 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. 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.love-chapter


6 thoughts on “A Different Way to Read the Love Chapter

  1. I had looked at it this way but, then, I had already seen that chapters 12-14 form Paul’s answer to a single problem the misuse in Corinth of spiritual gifts (specifically in the Church services). The chapter itself begins as the introduction to a better way than “seeking the best gifts.” Yet, since one must be practical he provides a way to discover what the best gifts all share in common. And then finally how to conduct the worship service so that the congregation and any visitors will gain an edifying experience ti use so they can honor god in their daily lives.

  2. It’s so refreshing to see someone voicing different ways to look at the Word. As you said, it’s probably been read this way many times, but sometimes we need to be reminded to keep a fresh outlook and be open to all the ways God speaks to us.

    I am constantly fascinated by the depth of each verse when looking at the literal definitions of words. It’s absolutely intriguing, but I have to be careful not to get caught up in study of the Lord and neglect relationship with Him.

    Carl Lentz mentioned that he applies this chapter to his life by replacing the word ‘love’ with his name. It helps him stay grounded as he speaks each line over his life, “Carl is patient, Carl is kind,” etc. I’ve resorted to that when facing temptation and it humbles me immediately. Just throwing that out there in case it’s helpful to anyone else, lol.

  3. That is the way I like to read God’s Word. Of course, the first step before I even open it is to pray for guidance and understanding that I need for the day and then begin. I love that interpretation of that passage. I agree that love is 1-7 and when we consider all of these things it demonstrates the power that God gives it. The world tends to dilute the word not realizing the biblical definition of so many other things.

    I have read about three of your posts today. Not sure that I agree with them all, but that is ok because it opens me up to ask questions and search the Word. Regardless of the motivation for study, it is all good and we have the best teacher in the Holy Spirit to help us through it as we are ready to understand.

    Thank you for presenting new questions to test against God’s Word.

    God Bless and Keep you,

    • Hi Dan. Thanks for your comment. Yes, love is definitely misconstrued in many ways in secular culture unfortunately. Secular culture makes it less to do with one’s character and actions, and more to do with one’s feelings. Perhaps if more follow the scripture example we’d have less divorce rates and less contentious relationships with one another.

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading some of my other posts and that they’ve challenged your thinking. It’s the one thing I continually hope to accomplish with this blog.

      Peace in Christ

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