Being Better at Loving Others
And the Greatest of These is Love
by Joanne Troppello
The thirteenth chapter in I Corinthians is well-known as the Love Chapter because it provides us with a beautiful description of what it means to love others as God’s love fills us and flows out into those around us.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – I Corinthians 13:1-15 (NKJV)
My favorite part of this passage is the final statement. And now abide faith, hope, love these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Faith is a crucial facet of the Christian life. You need to trust in God’s free gift of salvation for you. Then you learn to trust and have faith in His leading throughout your life. Your faith should be growing day by day as you go through all of life’s good and bad times.
Hope is important. You can read in Proverbs 29:18 that where there is no vision (hope), the people perish. Hope is so important in your Christian walk. It can keep you connected to the Lord, knowing that life here is short, but you have a hope of greater things to come when you will spend all eternity with Him in Heaven.
Love is a third vital factor in your life as a Christian. God loved the whole world and sent His Son to die for you and me on the cross (John 3:16). God wants to continually fill you with His love each day so that you are a filled vessel, able to share His love with those you encounter.
Love is the Greatest Gift
Love is the most beautiful gift that God gave to me and you, and the entire world. Just reread that statement from the passage in I Corinthians. The greatest of these is love. It’s important for you to realize that God is motivated by love in all He does.
When He disciplines His children, love is the motivating factor. When He guides you each day, He is driven by His love for you and how others can be brought to Christ.
I want to be used as a vessel of love for those in this world that I encounter. It’s not easy on my own. Actually, it’s impossible on my own to love as God would have me love—because I am an imperfect human, many times driven by my flesh, even though I am saved and have been a Christian for many years.
The beautiful part of everything is that God’s love is what is flowing out of us. However, there is a caveat. You need to surrender your will to God each day. You must ask Him to use you for His glory in each moment of that day.
This is definitely something I am working on daily. However, when I have stayed open to His leading, there have always been small surprises when my actions (through His power) can bring a smile to someone’s face, encourage an individual who needed encouragement, or be part of God’s plan to help in whatever capacity He had in mind.
I want to continue to grow in my relationship with the Lord and love others like He does. Do you?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.