Today our thoughts turn to Faith hope and love and the greatest is love. When life is challenging, when it becomes difficult to understand we must be drawn toward Faith, Hope and Love. I am also drawn to recognize that we lack the ability to know and understand fully what is happening at all times and in the midst of hard decisions. St Pauls says ”At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. “
I am reminded of a story of a man walking along he comes across a construction sight. He asks a worker, ”sir what are you doing?, he responds, “I’m laying bricks,” as he continues he comes across another man and he asks, ”what are you doing?” the man responds “I’m building a wall”, he continues down the road and finds a third man working on the same project and he asks him ”sir what are you doing? the third man said “I’m building a Cathedral” You see although each man was essentially doing the same thing the third saw the greater picture, he was no longer understanding partially, he had moved to full understanding.
This is what Paul is teaching us about love.
Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
It is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
“Paul’s description of the action and behavior produced by love is distinctly countercultural. It speaks against the envy, pride, and self-centeredness of the Corinthian Christians, and in doing so speaks clearly to our own generation as well.
In a society where so much is presented in terms of “self”—self-awareness, self-esteem, self-acceptance, self-image, self-realization—to present a way of existence in which a person lives for the other in a life of loving self-sacrifice will be highly provocative. Following the one who gave his life as a sacrifice for us will be humbling and undoubtedly costly in terms of human recognition and progress in life as secular society defines it.
Christ has to remain the example. The envy, boasting, rudeness, arrogance, and anger of normal life will be turned upside down. Instead, patience and love and a rejoicing in truth are to mark out God’s people. In line with the way Christ forgave our sin and no longer holds it against us, so our love is to hold no record of evil.
This is surely one of the easiest ways in which Christians fail properly to handle the times when they feel hurt, or mistreated They forgive, but the hurt or pain remains at the back of their mind. Then, the next time they encounter that person who has wronged them, they remember and keep score. If something goes wrong again in the relationship, they may once again say “I forgive you,” but they will then add the word “but.” The “but” usually will hark back to the past and to the record that has been kept of previous hurts committed. We are reminded of Peter’s question about how often to forgive his brother when he sins against him (Matt 18:21). The answer Jesus gives is that life must be lived as a forgiving life. Disciples of Christ will go on and on forgiving because it is part of who they are. Love is a most excellent way.”