How do we show God’s love to others? It’s a question I have been thinking about this week.
In I Corinthians 13, Paul devotes the entire chapter to defining Christian love. A summary of the chapter would be that love is self-less. Love thinks of others before yourself. Love evidenced in our actions.
But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.I Corinthians 13:13
I love how Paul says that faith, hope and love remain, but love is the greatest.
The love we show others will make the greatest difference.
Loving others as Jesus loved us will change the world (even if it’s only one person at a time).
Truth is hard to hear sometimes. It can convict of sin and lead us to change. This chapter begins with Paul acknowledging that just speaking truth without love will accomplish nothing.
If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.I Corinthians 13:1-3
Paul had knowledge and wisdom, but he cautions us. We must show love to others or they will not hear us. They will reject our message if it’s not shared in love.
Think about your teenagers. They will often call us out on our words and actions. They don’t like when we tell them what needs to be done or what we expect. They want to try things their way. Our job as parents is to teach with love so they can hear the hard lessons.
Loving others doesn’t mean we don’t speak the truth. But it does mean we are thoughtful and speak the truth in love and allow our actions confirm our love.
Truly the greatest gift we can give anyone is to show them the love Jesus has shown us.