This week everything is all about love. Yet what most people are seeking on Valentine’s Day is a far cry from true love. How does Valentine’s Day love stand up to 1 Corinthians 13:1-13?
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. 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. 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. 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. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 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. 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. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. God shows us love in His patience, kindness, rejoicing in truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things and enduring all things. This is only half of love—what it does.
God also show us what love does not do. Love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It doesn't insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. It doesn't rejoice in wrong doing.
The love-hype on Valentine’s Day seems like a noisy gong and a clanging cymbal in comparison. Love is greater than having prophetic powers or understanding all mysteries and possessing all knowledge. Love is greater than having the faith to tell a mountain to move. It is even greater than sacrificing your life as a martyr.
Valentine’s Day is a fun escape through cared, candies and candlelight. Yet, it does not live up to the way God defines love.
Take the 1 Corinthians love challenge and become aware of how God’s love trumps all other love in this world. Perhaps you will come under love’s true spell!