Editor’s Note: Love

Editor’s Note: Love

Paul is writing 1 Corinthians to deal with some real problems this church was struggling with in a very pagan society. Problems of divisiveness, immorality, lawsuits, selfishness, and other issues in both their lifestyle and church. While chapter 13 is often quoted for celebrations of love such as weddings and valentines day, Paul does not introduce this passage to affirm a love already present in the community. He presents this passage as a way to introduce into the community a love ethic that was necessary if they are to survive the muddy waters of difference and disagreement in their relationships.

Paul declares love as the greatest power to a community that seems to be largely lacking it. This setting is a far cry from one of an adoring couple declaring unwavering devotion to each other. The members of the Corinthian church, to whom chapter 13 is directed, are nowhere near a love fest. Yet, Paul remains firm that God has called this diverse community, surrounded by pagan influences, to get along within it, and treat each other with godly love. Let’s look at his desperate appeal of how they needed to show love for one another.

Love is patient

Love is kind

Love does not envy

Love does not boast

Love is not proud

Love is not rude

Love is not self-seeking

Love is not easily angered

Love keeps no record of wrongs

Love does not delight in evil

Love rejoices with the truth

Love always protects

Love always trusts

Love always hopes

Love always perseveres

Love never fails

The Bible’s description of what love is and isn’t, presented in 1 Corinthians 13, has to still be the best explanation of love ever. Standing in stark contract to the idea that love is an emotion, this chapter clearly reveals that true love is primarily an action. While we likely have the whole chapter memorized, let’s take some time this month and re-read each depiction of Biblical love, and picture what it needs to looks like in real life: in your life, my life, our family life, community, and our church life.

Juanita Edge, Communication Director