Love is . . .

The agape love of the New Testament is not a feeling; it is a disposition of the will, I think. I came to 1 Corinthians 13 in my Bible reading this morning. Such an amazing chapter. Here’s my take on what it’s saying:

If I’m a great speaker but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I’m big on religious stuff like being prophetic, understanding, knowledgeable, and full of faith, but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give away all my money and stuff, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Real love is patient, kind, not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on getting its own way;

it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Real love never ends (because it’s not a feeling).

The religious stuff we do will come to an end, and even our knowledge will come to an end.

For now we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when God brings us to completion, the partial will come to an end.

When I was a child, I spoke, thought, and reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.

It’s important to remember that we now see in a mirror, dimly, but when completion comes we will see truth face to face.

Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Note: The accompanying artwork is by John Hain.

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