1 Corinthians 13:1-13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Notice the “If I” phrases, five times- “If I”, If I”, “If I”.
What “If I” placed myself in these scriptures? Would I be able to pass the test?
Let’s try. Beginning at verse 4…
I am patient. (I try…)
I am kind. (Sure, I am)
I am not jealous. (Not really, I think…)
I do not brag. (Do I?)
I am not arrogant. (Do I fight pride?)
I do not act unbecomingly. (Hmmm, do you mean all the time?)
I do not seek my own. (Man this is getting hard!)
I am not provoked. (Wow, if I am honest I fail at most of these, often)
I do not cling to wrongs suffered against me.
I do not rejoice in unrighteousness- I rejoice in the truth.
FOR LOVE’S SAKE;
Do I bear, believe, hope, and endure all things?
TRUE LOVE, a love that is true never fails, it never ceases! But “doing” will cease, in the doing of things; prophesy, tongues, knowledge. The doing will cease, but love is greater than “doing”- Love is BEING.
In verse 11 we are challenged to grow into a mature, self-sacrificing love. Grow into a love that casts away childish selfishness, one that surrenders to Christ- putting others above self (and Christ above all) in response to the love Jesus and God the Father have shown towards us.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
Recognize the first multitude of sins covered would be our own- Christ washed those away on the cross in His love for us.