This morning, I was reading one of my favorite chapters of the Bible- 1st Corinthians 13. I’ve always loved this chapter(pun intended) because of how it flows and mostly, because of how it describes everything perfect love should be and is.
But today, I was about to start reading it with the same human wisdom and excitement that I usually read it with, then I stopped.
This had to be a different experience from all the previous times. I wanted the Holy Spirit to show me something I had not seen before in this chapter that I had almost memorized. Sometimes it feels that way, like we know a part of the Bible so well we forget it can mean more things that we think it does already. Hebrews 4:12 says The Word of God is living and active, dynamic which means ever-changing, of many forms. But I digress.
Verses 1-3 never made much sense to me, apart from meaning that someone who did a lot of stuff that would be considered “saintly” would mean nothing if the person had no love. Then I backed up a bit. The Bible was not initially written in chapters, remember?
In Chapter 12, Paul was teaching about the gifts of the Spirit- gift of word of wisdom,gift of word of knowledge, gift of great faith, gift of healing, gift of performing miracles,gift of prophecy, gift of speaking in diverse kinds of tongues, gift of distinguishing between spirits and also the gift of interpretation of tongues.
At the end of the chapter, he told them to eagerly seek the greater gifts, and he said he was going to show them the way.
Then Chapter 13 begins, and we have LOVE.
Now let’s connect the dots.
Without LOVE, all the gifts of the spirit are useless. So you speak in tongues, but you get angry easily, waste of time. You can prophesy about a nation but you keep grudges, you are nothing. You can believe that when you want that thing no one else believed could happen to happen, it will happen but still force yourself on others, sorry dear, but you are nothing. You can give EVERYTHING you have- your clothes, your house(s), your cars, empty bank accounts, even give up your life and still be bankrupt,(of course, you just gave up everything), I mean, it’ll amount to nothing. You can do all these things and much more and it won’t mean anything if you have no love. Total waste of time and resources.
Now I don’t mean to point fingers, because for every time I point, I have 4 fingers pointing back at me and I’m also learning and striving for perfection.
Lemme bore you a bit more, what is this LOVE we are talking about?
Amplified Bible puts it this way:
“that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for and in us”.
No better words, God’s love for us and in us. Meaning He has put the same love He has for us in our hearts, so we can love others the same way He loves us.
Back to Chapter 13, I decided to say this out loud, and I believe in my heart:
Rolayo is patient
Rolayo is kind
Rolayo does not envy
Rolayo does not boast
Rolayo is not proud
Rolayo is not rude
Rolayo is not self-seeking and not easily-angered
Rolayo keeps no record of wrongs
Rolayo does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth
Rolayo always protects, always hopes, always perseveres
Rolayo never fails
Rolayo trusts God always
Rolayo always looks for the best
Rolayo never looks back, but keeps going to the end
Rolayo never dies.
I won’t lie to you, I cringed at some parts. But then I got to verse 12 and it said, “We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing Him directly just as He knows us”. He sees me as a love-being. I am a love-being.
I’m learning to be who I am in God, and just as I replaced everywhere love is in this chapter with my name, He’s replacing all my human nature for His supernatural one and completing me, making me perfect in Him.
I’ll leave you with The Message version’s translation of verse 13:
“But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswerving, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love”.