Read 1 Corinthians 13
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 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 do not have love, I am nothing. 3 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.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Like a car with no engine. Like a book with no words. Like a meal with no food. This is how Paul describes a life without love. Our lives will be hollowed out by the pursuit of things that could never fill us. We can chase after success, money, and notoriety and still be left empty. It’s all because our hearts weren’t made for those things. Each of us was designed by our Creator to love and to be loved. We all have a deep hunger for love, but all too often we feast on other things. Instead of love, we’re filled with anxiety over the future, stress over our present, and regret over our past. All of these emotions will keep us from the life that God has called us to live.
If we want to live a life of love, we have to know what love is. Thankfully, we can know that our God is the definition of love (1 John 4:8). He is the One who chose us in spite of us. He is the One who suffered instead of us. He is the One who left Heaven so we could one day enter in. Our God showed us that love means putting others first. Love doesn’t seek anything in return, but rather finds joy in simply loving. So today, your task list is short. In every situation, all that is required of you is to answer the question, “What would Love have me do?” You’ll find that your life will be more full than ever before, because this is how you were meant to live.
What stands out to you most about the characteristics of love?
Which trait of love is the hardest for you to live out?
How have you felt most loved by God recently?
Who do you need to love well today?
Did You Know?
The city of Corinth was essentially morally bankrupt. These people had placed a high priority on in-the-moment pleasures. They had blended the definitions of love and lust and no longer knew the difference. For Paul to say that love was selfless service to others would have been shocking. He is encouraging them to stop pursuing fleeting pleasures and instead live in eternal love.