Dying for a beloved is the theme of legends. We’ve seen it in books, movies, poetry, and song, when a person puts herself/himself out there for the one who is loved.
Dying for a beloved is what we hope we would do if the need arose. We hope we would be selfless enough, forgiving enough, and brave enough for this higher kind of love– a love so overwhelming that we might call it perfect love.
But how does one go about the pursuit of perfect love?
We’ve all heard 1 Corinthians 13 many times, often at weddings where love is in the forefront. But read the verses again. Is this the sort of love we honestly carry through our life? As for me, I know I fall far short of the deep, genuine love this calls for.
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.–1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)
In truth, there is only one perfect love, and that is God’s love–a love that never changes no matter our sins. The only thing that can keep us from His love is OUR refusal to acknowledge it in those around us. How many times have we refused to love those He has put into our lives?
Copyright 2015, Kaye Hinckley
Photo Credit: 2014, Glass Love by Efie21, MorgueFile.com