I have a few friends that I love very dearly here in Saint Louis and one of the things we do together is meet every week to study the Bible. This week we talked about 1 Corinthians 13. I think this passage may be one of the most over-quoted and under-utilized texts of the Bible. That being said, my cynical self didn’t expect to get much out of our talk that I hadn’t already heard or thought about before. However, our conversation was extremely fruitful. Here is the concept I enjoyed most from our discussion.
1 Corinthians 13, especially vs. 4-7, reads not like an adminition or command but rather like a character sketch. Those few landlocked verses especially remind me of the structure of Proverbs 31 or various Psalms that describe the righteous person – an almost legend-worthy figure rather than a step-by-step how-to guide. Love is a state – an end goal in itself. There isn’t much more in this world, and not much that is more unearthly, then love done well. Love itself is not so much about the object – the person you’re loving – as it is about the pursuit of those traits. It’s almost like love is another entity in itself, separate from you — like a big brother walking beside you that you try (badly) to emulate.
But then again, we already knew this. Love DOES walk beside us as an entity. 1 John 4 — “God is love.” (Verse 16)