A Fresh Look at Real Love. (1 Cor. 13 Study Part 1)

After John 3:16, this exquisite chapter by Paul is probably one of the most well-known chapters of the Bible. But, like most of the Word of God, there is so much more contained in these thirteen verses than what readily meets the eye.

Let’s grab a cup of coffee (or tea! ) and take a look at just a few of these inspired words.

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, ” 1 Cor. 13:4

This one verse identifies so much of what is wrong with our nation and, indeed, the world.  Everyone suffers in some way or another but how many of us can look beyond our own suffering to be kind to someone else who is hurting?

Suffering tends to make us humans rather selfish. We see our  pain, be it physical or emotional. We complain about how she said that to me and rarely even acknowledge the fact that literally all 7 + billion people on this planet have things that they struggle with as well.

But love flips that concept on its head. 

Even though a heart that’s full of the love of God does feel pain, the man or woman who loves as God loves goes beyond their pain to be kind to others…to try to relieve the pain of another instead of just griping about their own problems.

Love doesn’t envy. 

What a statement.  When we love we are actually happy that someone else has life a little better than we do. If you think about it, love is actually a selfless act. What makes a father sacrifice everything so that his kids can have life a little better than he did growing up? Love.

Even outside of family relationships, love for your fellow human will make you celebrate when he gets a better paying job than you, or she shows up in that dress that you’ve always wanted and never could afford. 

Sounds crazy, right?

Only because we’ve been conditioned to instinctively put ourselves before others. Again, true love eradicates everything we’ve accepted as normal.

Action step: Take a look at your relationships this week through the lens of love as outlined above. Alleviate someone else’s pain and, from your heart, celebrate someone else’s good fortune instead of your own. Then look back at how you feel as a person. I’m pretty sure you’ll be happy with the results.

Join me next week for: “Crushing the Self-Love Bug.”

JP Robinson

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