“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.” (1 Corinthians 13:3 NKJV)
The Corinthians prided themselves on their acquisition and use of spiritual gifts. The boasted about their great faith, their knowledge, and their teaching. They made sure that Paul knew about how willing they were to sacrifice for others, even to the point of death. Paul recognized that all their discussion about these things focused on themselves and not on others. They were bereft of love. Paul made it clear that if they had all those qualities and did all those great things, but didn’t have love, they had been good for nothing. It was, as Solomon might say, all vanity. As Paul spoke about the qualities of love later in the passage, he pointed out that love thought of others before self. Ultimately, love begins when we seek God’s best for other people.
Too often, love is put in the box of romance. While love is an important part of romance, it should permeate all our interactions with people. Can you show God’s love to people throughout the day? What about that driver who waits for the last minute to make his lane change? What about the mother in the grocery store whose kids are screaming about what they want? There’s a waiter or waitress who messed up your lunch order and now you don’t have time to eat. How do you react? Do you want to know the worst part about those examples? Those are the easy people to love. Usually, family is the hardest group to show love for, especially when they make mistakes. Our initial reaction is to fix their mistakes while we let them know how good we are in comparison. We tend to be harsh about our children’s choices and unforgiving of spouses. Part of this comes because we know that family will love us no matter what. The truth is, sometimes families are destroyed by unloving, selfish attitudes. Make today a day to love your family. If you’re at odds with someone in the family, make peace, if it’s possible. Find a way to show them God’s love, especially if you think they don’t deserve it. Remember, you didn’t deserve His love either, but someone showed it to you.
Lord, help me to love those who frustrate me the most, especially in my family. May Your love guide my actions as I relate to others throughout my day.