Monday, February 11, 2013

Love is the Greatest Thing

 I told my wife the other day that every day with her is Valentines Day. 

She wasn’t impressed!

Tomorrow is that once-a-year celebration of love.  While we might celebrate, it’s the florists, Hallmark and Whitman’s that dance all the way to the bank.  But that’s OK.  The flowers, cards and chocolates are part of what makes it special.  Unless, of course you’re springing for bling…or expected to do so!

But I’m concerned that as Bon Jovi sang our culture has not only lost sight in many ways of what love is, but has given it “a bad name”.  Watch and listen to pop-culture and L-O-V-E is really L-U-S-T.  The idea of selfless sacrifice seems lost in wanting love to fulfill personal wants. 

On and on I could go.  But I won’t.  Instead, I’ll just quote from a passage in Scripture, quite poetic, that while often read at weddings isn’t about marriage.  But it is about love, and in its simplicity defines it as the highest of virtues.  So high in fact that Jesus told us we must love our enemies – perhaps life’s greatest challenge.

My greatest take from this explanation of love from someone who knew hatred so that he could experience the heights of love is that love is far beyond being a feeling.  Paul makes it clear that love is a verb.  Regardless of feelings, love does.

From the Contemporary English Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 and 13:

What if I could speak all languages of humans and of angels?
If I did not love others, I would be nothing more than a 
noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

What if I could prophesy and understand all secrets and all knowledge?
And what if I had faith that moved mountains?
I would be nothing, unless I loved others.

What if I gave away all that I owned and let myself be burned alive? I would gain nothing, unless I loved others.

Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude.
Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered.
It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do.

Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil.
Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.
Love never fails!

For now there are faith, hope, and love.
But of these three, the greatest is love.
On this Valentines Day and every day, let’s pursue the greatest in life.

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