“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 13:4-8a (NIV)
This is a familiar passage from the Bible. It is frequently used in wedding ceremonies, vow renewal services and it is the sentiment in many Hallmark cards.
1 Corinthians was written by the Apostle Paul to the mission church he started on one of his missionary journeys. The church at Corinth was having some problems and Paul was writing to correct and encourage this young church. Although we primarily use this passage to describe the love between a husband and wife, the original intent was to describe how people within the church should treat each other.
Paul paints a literary masterpiece with the theme of love. He describes what love is and what love is not. We all want to be loved and we all need to show love to others. Can you imagine belonging to a group of people that truly love each other like Paul is describing?
Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV) This life is not meant to be lived in isolation. The church is a great place to be loved and to love others. Chocolate and flowers are great, but belonging, truly belonging, to a group is sweet to the soul.
This article originally appeared in the Dalhart Texan and was written by Sean Vickers.