Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
— 1 Corinthians 13:13
First Corinthians 13 is often called “the love chapter.” It is commonly read at weddings. It contains a list of the many characteristics of love. Here we learn that love is patient and kind; it does not envy or boast; it is not proud, rude, self-seeking, or easily angered; nor does it keep a record of wrongs. “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” Further, it always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. “Love never fails”!
However, if I am honest, I have to admit that I often fail. I fail to do the things that Paul says love does—and the things that love never does, these are the things I find myself doing. Interestingly, in Romans 7:19, Paul confesses to having that same problem.
It is common to make excuses for our failures. We say things like “I’m only human.” Or “If Paul fails, what can I expect of myself?” But it is far better to seek God’s forgiveness for our failures and to recognize, with thanks, that God “delivers [us] through Christ Jesus our Lord!” (Romans 7:25).
With our hearts and our Bibles open, we need to ask God to change us. And as we make this our regular practice, we will be amazed to see that through his Word and Spirit, God produces ever greater quantities of his love in our lives.
Lord, we thank you that you are patient and kind. Forgive us for our lack of love, and produce in us a rich harvest of true love, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.