A Closer Look at the Greatest of These
One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13. This single chapter, for me, sums up the Christian experience—love. God is love. The verses in this chapter tangibly describe the Savior who sacrificed it all for me for love. I don’t need to wonder or question who God is, because it's all clearly spelled out for me. He is patient, kind, sacrificing, forgiving, protective and perseverant.
Consequently, these are also my marching orders according to Matthew 22:36-38, “Love the Lord your God…Love your neighbor as yourself.”
A few years ago I came across an approach to personify scripture using your pronouns and name in place of the ones that are in Bible verses. For example, for me, John 3:16 could be: For God so loved Kristina, that He gave His one and only Son, that she would believe in Him and not perish, but have eternal life.
When I used this approach on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, replacing the word love with my own name it really made me think. I was not very patient, or very kind for that matter. As I reflected on my character, I noticed that I needed the wakeup call. I explored where I measured up on patience, kindness, envy, boastfulness etc. and realized I had some improvements to make.
I come back to these verses from time to time, and while I’m nowhere near perfect, I do believe that God has helped me improve in several areas. I encourage you to try this self-assessment on love and ask God to work in those areas where you don’t believe you are the strongest.
The beginning of this chapter really emphasizes the importance of love in the grand scheme of things. Without love, any attempts to enhance ministry are pointless. Without love all of our actions and behaviors are pointless. We must do things in love.
What does that look like? Try putting your name in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and think about who you are to your family, your friends and to strangers. What do they know you for? How would they describe you? Remember, “the greatest of these is love.”
By Kristina P. Busch, Record Editor and Southwestern Union Communication Director