Love. Love gets a good press, and remains universally popular. Yet Christian Love is somehow different. The early Christians knew:
- love as family feeling
- love as friendship with equals
- love as sexual attraction
and still had to invent a new word for this quality of Jesus!
Now, let’s try a little experiment. I want you to read this with me:
“I am patient and kind.
I do not demand my own way.
I am not irritable, and I keep no record of when I have been wronged.
I am never glad about injustice but rejoice whenever the truth wins out.
I never give up, never lose faith, am always hopeful, and endure through every circumstance.”
Did you have any difficulty in saying that? You may have recognised it was from 1 Corinthians 13 (today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 13:1-13). But was it true? Did you laugh, or wonder if anyone hearing you might have laughed? Being honest, most of us would admit that – well, we don’t quite measure up to that.
So love is admired, important, and Christian. But it’s one thing to KNOW it, another to BE it. Growing up means taking Jesus as our model, and so we need to know him better. We also need the Holy Spirit to be working on our character, our motivation, and our habits. You may know the gospel stories well, but need to ask “How does that fit?”, “How do I do anything like that?”. It is a good question.