Sunday, April 14, 2013

~ "The greatest of these..."

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. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13)

In a rare and quiet moment yesterday, I had the opportunity to reflect life, in general.  Where I fit into the world in the grand scheme of things.  What really matters most in life is not so much how well we do our job, how neat and clean we keep our homes, whether or not we are good cooks or talented writers.  It's not really all that important to pay our bills all the time on time (although it is a good thing) and it's not that important to be frugal or painstakingly accurate.  What matters most in life is love!  

The ability to love and be loved is a gift afforded us by our Father.  Jesus taught us the true meaning of love when he went to the cross for our sins.  There is no greater love than that!  So, what do we do with it?

The definition of love in the dictionary describes only an emotion - we know without any question the definition of love - patient, kind, confident, unassuming, humble, restrained, respectful, calm and cheerful.  Our Savior reminds us that regardless of where we go or what we do, if we have love, we'll be okay! is not just red hearts and arrows - it is a culmination of all the behaviors Paul tells us about in this chapter of Corinthians.  

Being part of a large family for the past 17 years has afforded me the opportunity to learn that there can be love in all times - not just the good, not just the joyful - but in the hard times and embarrassing ones as well!  Take a lesson from this chapter in Corinthians and reach out in love to those around you!  Give as much as you receive, rejoice in all things and love without hesitation!