I Corinthians 13
by Carolyn Hittenberger
Though I speak the impressive language of earth’s learned and know the tongue in which the angels sing, if I express no love to my brothers all else I say is an annoying ringing in the ears of God.
And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand deep truths and accumulate all knowledge and have faith that displaces all obstacles, but do not show my fellow-Christians a love that the world can observe, I am NOTHING.
If I give to the needy my very last cent and die a martyr in flaming sacrifice, if I do those things with any other motive than that of love for God and for those whom He loves, my sacrifice has no value.
I will love others patiently, kindly. I will not envy a brother who seems to advance more rapidly than I. I will rejoice with him. I will not boast of my successes nor be proud, but will humbly acknowledge those whose prayers and labor with me have brought God’s blessings.
I will not behave in ways that bring pain or embarrassment to others, because I love them. I will not put my brother down to lift myself up, nor undermine another’s work or reputation to improve my own image.
I will not quickly take offense to something my brother says or does, for through eyes of love I see that he may be speaking or acting out of some unresolved issue in his own life. I will see and remember the good in my brother.
I will rejoice in true reports of my co-laborers and feel the pain of one whose reputation is called into question.
I will seek to protect and encourage my brother, believe in him, hope with him, stand firmly with him in the love of God.
This kind of love never ends. All these other things…prophecies, earthly and heavenly tongues and even great knowledge will one day pass. The understanding I now have of my brothers is still lacking and imperfect. But when we are all transformed into His likeness, imperfections will vanish.
When I was a child I understood and responded to others from a childish perspective, but with maturity that must change.
For the present, though I see as though I am looking through a tinted window, I will strive to understand my brothers. But when we see Him face to face I will know and love them perfectly-as He already knows and loves me perfectly.
There are three things that will not cease: faith, hope and love. But the most important and enduring thing…is love.
Carolyn Hittenberger is Assistant for the Caribbean Regional Office at Global University and also works with University Communications. For more information about Global University, visit http://think.globaluniversity.edu.