Most North Americans have heard at least part of 1 Corinthians 13 more than once. As I was listening to the local Christian radio station today it struck me how we have romanticized it.

“Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 God’s Word©).

I thought:

love_one_another_Patient – gives people time and space to discover life and God in the divine schedule

Kind – encourages people without harshness or condemnation, helpful without being intrusive

Not jealous – rejoices at the gifts and achievements of other believers

No boasting – doesn’t take any opportunity to make it look like you did it when God deserves the praise and glory

Not arrogant – respectful and humble rather than self-centred to the point of malice

Not rude – wait your turn without complaining, compliment instead of insult

Not self-seeking – leaves the biggest piece of dessert for someone else, happy when someone else is promoted, sees life as joy rather than a place to climb on and over others

Not irritable – empathy overrides sharp tongue even before morning coffee

List of wrongs – people fail, but give the benefit of the doubt that someone may actually grow in their faith and service to God without recalling all their childhood sins

Justice – not only pursue it at all costs, but intervene when it is denied others, or at least do not relish it when someone gets their just desserts (that they don’t really deserve)

Truth happy – lies, gossip, prejudice, bigotry, racism, sexism, ageism have no room, and when accurate facts about yourself come to light you repent rather than strike out

26339690-never-give-upLove never stops being: patient – there it is again!

: believing – life sucks and faith wavers but keep living like Jesus is real (which is true)

: never stops hoping – I’ll get through, tomorrow holds something worth living for

: never gives up – my friends and relatives will accept Jesus, and come what may I am Christ’s and I will not play Judas.

Looking at Paul’s teaching from God on this takes the romance right out of it.

If I lived like that people would know I belonged to Jesus! Ya gotta love that!