The Greatest of These is Love
1 Corinthians 13:1-6
“Love is two minds without a single thought.”
“Love is like a virus, anyone can catch it.”
“Love is the answer...now, what was the question?”
“All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.”Beatles
“Love is a serious mental disease.” Plato
“Love is the smoke made with the fume of sighs.” Shakespeare
Other sayings are more philosophical...
"Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
"Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired." - Mark Twain
"Love doesn't make the world go round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile." - Elizabeth Browning
"Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul." - Saint Augustine
"What will survive of us is love." - Philip Larkin
"To laugh often and love much... to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give one's self... this is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
The most famous passage on love may be found in God’s Word in 1 Corinthians 13. It gives us insight on the emptiness that exists when love is absent, positive qualities that love includes and negative qualities that love leaves.
When Love is Absent (v.1-3)
Meaningful practices become meaningless expressions without love.
What Love includes (v. 4-8)
Patience—even under duress love stands strong.
Kindness—compassion on display.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
Honesty—truth is celebrated in love and falsehood is avoided.
Strength—will handle an unspecified weight without breaking.
Trust—the default setting for love.
Hope—know God can win the day even when circumstances are bleak.
Endurance—love holds on others with a firm grip.
What Love Excludes
Envy— wanting what someone else has producing ill feelings toward others.
Boasting— constantly letting everyone know about your accomplishments.
Arrogance—the sin of “I have arrived” and “I know everything” and “I am always right.”
Rudeness— cares nothing about the feelings of others.
Self-seeking— self is the first priority…this is the root of problems in relationships.
Jesus taught the opposite—“even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’ ” - Matthew 20:28
Anger— being easily irritated, upset, or angered by things said or done.
Bitterness— this emotion is the result of keeping score and holding on to offenses.
Wickedness— justification of sinful activities or lifestyles.
What Love Values
Truth—the truth of God’s Word and how God directs our steps in life.
Faith—dependence on the Lord and confidence in one another.
Hope—living and anticipating the best, because of the grace of God, knowing even human failures are not final.
Commitment—Love stands strong and does not give up.