After reading through this beautiful chapter of First Corinthians 13 a few times, and then glancing over it a few times more, it’s crazy and almost impossible to think that I could ever possess such qualities of love. To embody the powers of true love is actually kind of daunting. What if I get love wrong? What if I let someone I love down? What if I let God down? It almost fills me with fear just thinking about it. But fear does not come from the Lord, so I mustn’t fret. The Lord has shown me in my own life that fear should not, would not, and cannot exist in the presence of pure love. And that all I must do is be willing to be an open channel of Christ’s precious and unfailing love. In doing so I feel His love flowing in me, and through me. I then see His love at work in my life. Christ gives me the best example of how to love. But what should I look for when I’ve seen it, yet can’t put words to it? To my knowledge, no other chapter in the bible describes the essence of Christ’s love more beautifully than 1 Corinthians 13.
I greatly appreciate the insight that Paul’s writing provides for me. He says that we humans can do many great things. We have many amazing talents, gifts, powers, blessings, and abilities in our lives. All of these things can make life worthwhile, not just for ourselves, but many others around us. These little treasures we hold in our hands have the power to heal, inspire, turn light from dark, and create diamonds from coal (metaphorically, figuratively, and literally speaking). However! If we don’t love, all of these priceless pearls the Lord has blessed us with mean absolutely nothing. This tells me that love should be the motivator, instigator, and perpetrator for everything I do.
These gifts that the Lord gives us make us very important to Him, and others. It can be so easy to get so caught up in the idolatry of our priceless treasures that we forget why He gave them to us in the first place. Making it more about what we can do, or have, rather than our gift being all about love. So we get prideful about what the Lord has blessed us with, and we boast about these blessings. Sometimes we even lose sight of the gifts the Lord has given us, and focus on someone else’s gifts, becoming jealous of them. Thus, making it more about us, and what we can’t do, or don’t have, rather than everyone’s gifts being all about love. This is really where God speaks through Paul – showing us that the gifts He has given us must be used in all of our relationships, and every area of our lives for His glory. As well as what that must look like. This is God’s word about how we should handle ourselves with those gifts, and how we should look at others and their gifts. With great power, comes great responsibility, and understanding.
What I love the most about 1 Corinthians 13 is how Paul explains what love is, and is not. When I read this chapter, I imagine him telling me about the many faces of love. The imagery I see in my mind is what those faces look like, and don’t look like. I value what Paul has written, because it allows me to recognize those faces of love when I see them. And recognize when something is hidden behind a mask, disguised as love. That beautiful imagery applies not just to others around me, but myself as well.
Zach Scoggins is a devout follower of Jesus Christ. He has contributed to Krin Van Tatenhove’s The Pattern, a book about Twelve Step recovery to be released soon. He is an energetic public speaker and gives informative talks about his Biblical knowledge. Zach is also a gifted musician/songwriter, having performed for years with his band in Denton, Texas, and now serving on the worship team at City Church in San Antonio.