1 Corinthians 13
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
I may speak in different languages, whether human or even of angels. But if I don’t have love, I am only a noisy bell or a ringing cymbal. 2 I may have the gift of prophecy, I may understand all secrets and know everything there is to know, and I may have faith so great that I can move mountains. But even with all this, if I don’t have love, I am nothing. 3 I may give away everything I have to help others, and I may even give my body as an offering to be burned. But I gain nothing by doing all this if I don’t have love.4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. 5 Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it. 6 Love is never happy when others do wrong, but it is always happy with the truth. 7 Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits.8 Love will never end. But all those gifts will come to an end—even the gift of prophecy, the gift of speaking in different kinds of languages, and the gift of knowledge. 9 These will all end because this knowledge and these prophecies we have are not complete. 10 But when perfection comes, the things that are not complete will end.11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, and I made plans like a child. When I became a man, I stopped those childish ways. 12 It is the same with us. Now we see God as if we are looking at a reflection in a mirror. But then, in the future, we will see him right before our eyes. Now I know only a part, but at that time I will know fully, as God has known me. 13 So these three things continue: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.
Reflection. Many of us have read or even heard the above passage at Wedding ceremonies. But what does it really mean? Does it just apply to marriage? I would think not. Here Paul is telling us that we need to take a harder look at ourselves, at our convictions, at our hearts. Have they been hardened, have they taken on sorrow? I would think that if most of us really look, our hearts have. As children we have no worries, no cares. But as life transgresses, our hearts become hardened with regret, with anger, with jealousy, with hate. We must look to Christ to heal our hearts. We must understand the difference between sorrow and love. I am almost confident that when Jesus was on his way to Gethsemane His Heart was as always full of love, but he was sorrowful because he knew what was to be, and what he must do. There are times that we will be sorrowful. There are times of pain; but let us never forget, nor turn away from love, that is true love, Christ’s love. Let the suffering of our hearts be open to love. Let the experiences and traumatic incidents of the past not harden our hearts– for what is life without love? A heart can be scarred, it can be damaged, but a heart can be repaired. We must use love, and the love Christ has for us to repair that love. We must turn a cheek from vengeance, from greed, from past bad experiences, from depression- and look to love. As my grandmother used to say “God is love”. To truly know what love is, we must know God’s love. We must intertwine God’s love for us into our every day routine, into our life structure. Within difficult marriages, experiences, past incidents, we must turn away from the hardening of our hearts and experience love. We can go through trials and tribulations, even now, even when another adversary does not seem willing to change or may never change; but with love, as Christ taught, we can live- we can co-exist, we can flourish and live life the way God intended, being ever mindful that God puts these trials and these experiences of His passion in our lives so that we may turn and look in the mirror, and find love! God Bless! ~CJA
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