Businesses come and businesses go. Trends come and trends go. Success comes and success goes. Nations come and nations go. People come and people go. Even spiritual things come and go. That’s what Paul says about spiritual gifts like speaking in tongues, prophecy, and special knowledge. The church in Corinth is obsessed over these things. They fought, fractured, and divided over them. They took their toys and went to different house churches over them. They judged and looked down on others who couldn’t do what they could do.
1 Corinthians 13 is not a random ode to love that Paul wrote 2000 years ago so we could read it at weddings. It’s a beautiful reminder there, but it had a very specific purpose when writing to this church. Love is the corrective to their problems (and ours). Love is the cure to what ails them (and us). Even good things mean nothing and count for nothing if we lose sight of love (v 1-3). So much of what we focus on will fall, will fail, and will end.
Love never falls. Love never fails. Love never ends.
So grow up! The mature position is not the bickering, dividing, grandstanding, demanding, demeaning position. That’s what you do when you are an infant in faith, not a grown up. The mature position is love.
And humble up! In all the things that we hold near and dear and then divide over and demean others about, we lack the capacity for the full picture.
In other words, we keep coming back to the same solution, which is easy to understand but hard to practice in a time when fear, anger, mistrust, finger-pointing and polarization is so prominent. When in doubt, choose love. When in disagreement, choose love. When divided, choose love. When you are tempted to look down on others, demean others, and dismiss others, instead choose love. Love never falls. Love never fails. Love never ends. So in all things at all times, we make the decision to choose love.