1 Corinth. 13: “Wuv, Twue Wuv…”

“Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam… And wuv, twue wuv, will fowow you foweva… So tweasure your wuv.”

The famous quote from the cult classic “The Princess Bride.” There’s one thing powerfully true about the wedding scene in The Princess Bride… you can never un-see it!

Chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians is probably thee most famous location for gleaning understanding about love. Paul goes on a tangent about what love is, and what love is not. However, when you step back and look at this chapter, you can’t help but look at the placement of this chapter in light of the whole letter. Obviously when Paul wrote this letter he didn’t include Chapters and verses, but we can’t un-see that either.

Instead, if you look, you see that in Chapter 12 Paul is talking about the utilization of spiritual gifts and the the Corinthians lack of love. Here in 13 Paul makes the strong point for the purpose of love in both the individual and the faith community. In Chapter 14 Paul will instruct the church on how love works. So wedged right in the middle is Pauls magnum opus on love.

Crazy Love

As we talked yesterday about the church being in “harmony,” Paul kicks off Chapter 13 with this verse, “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” He continues, “If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”

I love the organization of Paul’s thoughts and his systematic approach to communicating what love is, and is not…

  • Love is patient
  • Love is kind.
  • Love is not jealous
  • Love is not boastful
  • Love is not proud
  • Love is not rude
  • Love does not demand its own way
  • Love is not irritable
  • Love keeps no record of being wronged
  • Love does not rejoice about injustice
  • Love rejoices whenever the truth wins out
  • Love never gives up
  • Love never loses faith
  • Love is always hopeful
  • Love endures through every circumstance

Francis Chan in his book, “Crazy Love,” says, “I was challenged to do a little exercise with these verses, one that was profoundly convicting. Take the phrase Love is patient and substitute your name for the word love. (For me, “Francis is patient.…”) Do it for every phrase in the passage (p. 94).”

So it would look like this… (insert your name in the blank)

  •                        is patient
  •                        is kind
  •                        is not jealous
  •                        is not boastful
  •                        is not proud
  •                        is not rude
  •                        does not demand                      ‘s own way
  •                        is not irritable
  •                        keeps no record of being wronged
  •                        does not rejoice about injustice
  •                        rejoices whenever the truth wins out
  •                        never gives up
  •                        never loses faith
  •                        is always hopeful
  •                        endures through every circumstance

I’ll let this sink in for a few minutes…

How true is this of you? As I was thinking about this and doing this exercise for myself, I couldn’t help but think how much I need God to help me accomplish this in my life. The only way     Steve    is not jealous is with the help of God. The only way     Steve    never loses faith is with the help of God. Then I took it another step when I thought of the verse in 1 John 4:8 (NLT) 8 but anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. It doesn’t work for all, because we do know that God “is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14), but there are some major truths regarding God that I’ve missed before in this Chapter. Maybe while we’ve been so focused on this chapter being about relationships, we’ve missed God’s desire to communicate something amazing about Himself. I don’t desire to sound anthropomorphic (giving God human characteristics), but follow me a little on this.

  •        God        is patient
  •        God        is kind
  •        God        is not boastful
  •        God        is not proud
  •        God        is not rude
  •        God        is not irritable
  •        God        does not rejoice about injustice
  •        God        rejoices whenever the truth wins out
  •        God        never gives up (This is my favorite)
  •        God        never loses faith
  •        God        is always hopeful
  •        God        endures through every circumstance

I’ll let this sink in for a few minutes…