The eloquence of 1 Corinthians 13 reflects the beauty of language and the high esteem that love possesses.  This quality is the hallmark of the Christian faith.  It is not only the turnkey feature of the Greatest Commandment but also the second.

True love even surpasses hyperbole.  If we could have the imagined ability to speak in many foreign languages, including the language of angels but do not have love, our communication would be useless and in reality annoying.  Even if we could express the spectacular gifts of prophecy or faith without true love we would be a underachiever.  Not even phenomenal generosity can be noteworthy if love is absent.

True love has the character that does not retaliate when wronged.  That is, the ugly side of life and evil people will falsely accuse, be mean even be devious but those with true love will not seek revenge or return evil with evil.  Instead, true love lives above the bad and rests in the truth.

This love is kind.  That is it, with an amazing control over selfishness true love will be gentle even when accosted with all sorts of wickedness and falsehood.  Kindness is that quality that is gracious, calming and instantly responsive to the Spirit in all difficult circumstances.

A list of what love is not helps us focus on the details of this spectacular description.  Love does not act selfishly.  It will not seek for itself what is rightfully owned by someone else. 

True love does not have to defend itself.  It does not make self claims of “caring for others” because if true love is present, then, this is obvious on its own.  Those who validate in their own minds what is true because they listen to themselves talk are far from true love.

Nor does love puff itself up.  It is not nasty in tone nor judgmental in spirit.  Self righteousness is contrary to true love. 

Love does not advance itself through anger nor lists of wrongdoing.  There is no initiative to fabricate evil reports.  The simple truth is sufficient and in that true love rejoices. 

True love steps in the way of danger on behalf of the one loved.  It will risk through trust.  Hope is its longing.  This kind of love will never give up but always believe.  

God’s love is durable.  It lasts longer than anything that is spiritually spectacular.  Love that is true is the best.

1 corinthians 13

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