by Carol J. H. Kobulnicky
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. —1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
Years ago I heard a message based on a passage we might think of regarding love—1 Corinthians 13. That Sunday morning, the speaker took a different angle and I found myself recently returning to it. He offered the suggestion that when reading this passage (1 Cor 13:4-7) we consider replacing any reference to love with our own names. Anyone who tries this, is immediately faced with the likelihood of being faced with a convicting falsehood. “Carol is not proud….Carol is not self-seeking….Carol does not delight in evil.”
Am I never proud? Am I not self-seeking? Do I ever delight in evil?
Writing this out in a journal, replacing “love” and “it” with my name became a time of prayer and confession. Allowing the Holy Spirit to convict me of all that I wrote that is not yet true, I was moved to seek forgiveness.
The passage continues to declare that “Love never fails.” Meditating on this, I could not bring myself to write this as if it applies to me! Instead, I allowed this truth to wash over me—knowing and trusting that God is love, and that it is His love that never fails.
Heavenly Father, Your love never fails. You are so patient with us, so kind! Your love shown to us in Christ demonstrates this unfailing love. We confess the many ways we fall short of this declaration of what love is—help us to see it as an exhortation to love in this way. Thank you for your forgiveness, and for the help of Your Holy Spirit to conform us more and more into the image of Your Son, Jesus. It’s in His Name that we pray. Amen.