1 Corinthians 13 & 14
What’s LOVE Got To Do With It?
Today’s reading is one of my most favorite verses. I use it frequently in different work settings and apply it constantly in my personal life. Ladies and gentlemen this is sometimes not an easy task. What characteristic of love do you need to work on?
In viewing today’s reading as a whole, Paul continued to confront the Corinthians on their lack of spiritual maturity and divisions being started in the church. More precisely in these chapters, the apostle addressed the people’s mishandling of spiritual gifts. As in chapter 12, Paul gave order to the different types of church ministries. Throughout chap. 14, he addressed the level difference between speaking in tongues and prophecy. He rated having the gift of prophecy higher due to its ability to minister to more people.
v. 3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
v. 4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
Paul wanted to stress that the purpose for having any spiritual gift was to share it with others in order to draw people towards Christ. It is still true today, if these spiritual gifts are not used for God’s people and purpose, they are just empty actions. This is why Paul emphasized LOVE in chap.13. He made known that regardless of your gift, if not used in love, it was in vain. Paul proceeded to answer the question of what exactly is LOVE. We need to acknowledge that this definition, found in 13:4-7, is not set by human standards but are characteristics of God’s nature.
My challenge to the reader is to note in a daily journal situations where you demonstrated the characteristics of LOVE. When were you patient or kind? When did you avoid boasting or tracking others mistakes? When did you give hope or build someone up despite your own pressing situations? Always keep in mind Mark 12:29-31, the greatest commandment.
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. 30 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”