Let’s face it: These are challenging times
We are still dealing with and trying to recover from the pandemic’s impact where we faced thousands of deaths, many jobs were lost, businesses failed. Here in the United States we are also experiencing more division and tension as the country wrestles with its political identity.
Other parts of the world are also dealing with the pandemic’s impact. In addition other issues disrupt the globe with topics such as leadership disruption, national safety and security, economic issues, climate change, access to water and healthcare just scratch the surface of a long list. These issues each bring polarizing perspectives causing more disruption.
Sometimes, it can look pretty dark. It can seem as if we might not have enough faith, hope or love to get us through.
1 Corinthians 13 was also written during challenging times
When Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, he was going through tough times. He wrote it to a group he was working with as they were splintering due to a variety of disagreements, misunderstandings and the inability to see the others’ perspectives. They worked through their challenges and differences.
Challenging times are not new, nor is the power of love and its ability to overcome hardship new. We must love ourselves. We must love our family and friends. We also must give love to those we disagree with.
1 Corinthians 13 can guide us through the storms
1 Corinthians 13 provides simple rules that if applied can improve our self-love and our relationships:
- Love is patient
- Love is kind
- Love always protects
- Love always trusts
- Love always hopes
- Love always perseveres
- Love rejoices with the truth
- Love does not envy
- Love is not jealous
- Love does not delight in evil
- Love does not boast
- Love is not proud
- Love is not rude
- Love is not self-seeking
- Love is not easily angered
- Love keeps no record of wrongs
- Love never fails
Faith, hope and love
Paul concludes this chapter in 13:13 with these words: “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
We must rely on our faith to pull us through these times. We must hope for better days. We must love ourselves, the ones close to us, our families, our communities and our world to make it a better place.
Today, how will you grow in your love for others? First, you cannot become the loving person you desire to be apart from a loving and vibrant relationship with God. This love relationship must be cultivated first and foremost. Second, you must love those nearest to you. This means that if you are married, you focus on your spouse. If you have children, you prioritize your children. If you are serving in a ministry, you love those children, teens, or adults.
Strive to love those in your life. Its a never-ending journey, but once you move in this direction, you will be able to better love the world around you. God has called us to love each other. Jesus said that all people will know we are His disciples by the love that we have for one another.
Love never fails.