To love deeply, to love sacrificially, to love with every implication of 1 Corinthians 13 is a heavy responsibility.
“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…” (1 Corinthians 13:1-8a NIV)
Love was completed perfectly once. Jesus showed us a perfect display of love as he poured out lesson upon lesson, affirmation upon affirmation, and as He suffered blow after blow, lash after lash. It took everything out of Jesus, even His life, to love us correctly.
“To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5b-6 NKJV)
Likewise, love will take everything out of us. Although we will never quite love as perfectly as Jesus, we still must be willing to live sacrificially, and selfishly, so that God’s genuine love can shine through our actions.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:12-13 NIV)
Love is hard, but it’s so, so worth it. Besides, if it’s not worth fighting for, is it really worth having?
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