I read this passage and am quite simply flabbergasted. We take this passage, most commonly, and flower it up with birdseed and wedding bells ignoring the raucously counterintuitive nature of what this true love actually is. Doesn’t take into account wrongs?!?!? No bragging, no self-preservation?!?!? Unwavering endurance?!?!? Am I to understand through this passage that, considering the immediately preceding verses, for me to have the love required to avoid the folly of Godless religion I must exhibit this type of self-denying love? In short, yes. As this true love is awakened in us by the power of the Holy Spirit, it is then that we can operate in the fullness of who God created us to be. Isn’t it a blessing that not only does God warn us to refrain from becoming a resounding gong, but he tells us precisely what type of love it requires to operate in our gifting? May it be said of us that carry this love with us in all we do as we continue to be transformed into the likeness of Christ.
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7