“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.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
A member of Central Union helped me see this verse in a new light. I heard her say that when she reads this passage she longs to see the line, “Love is joyful.” Love is joyful! This led me to consider the many other truths about love that are not covered by this handful of verses. There is no way one chapter in the Bible could say all there is about what love is and what love is not. It was then that I concluded that this list is not meant to be exhaustive but rather evocative.
Throughout our lives we learn what love is and what love is not. Through relationships with friends, mentors, family, significant others, children, and more, we learn about love. In our lives, we see firsthand expressions of the Corinthian love list. And, we see truths about love not included in the Apostle Paul’s poetry. Our lives compose verses about what love is and what love is not. And through our lives God teaches others about love.
The Apostle Paul references this is another one of his letters. Ephesians 3 says, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Each of us learns about the love of God in different ways. When we come together and testify to what God has taught us about love then we are better able to grasp, “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”
In Corinthians the Holy Spirit inspires Paul to tell us what he has learned about love from God. Let us find ways to show others what we have learned about the love of God.