Friday, July 07, 2006

1 Corinthians 13

Paraphrase by Angela McCord

If I go to language school and learn to speak a hundred different languages, preach to thousands all over the world, and lead all to Christ, but have hate in my heart in a silent war with my neighbor who's built his privacy fence on my side of the boundary line, my words are nothing except the screaming of a heavy metal rock band.

If I have a doctorate in theology, science, language, arts and literature and can raise mountains out of the dust of the plains, but am only concerned with the size of my paycheck, wardrobe, and house, it is as if I don't exist ... have never existed.

If I give up a good salary opportunity to work in compassionate ministries, tithe ten percent, give the rest to the poor and eventually die for them, but only do it to get my name in the paper, and I lose sight of the the lost hungry souls, I certainly don't gain anything but lose my own soul.

Love walks the floor all night with a crying baby, smiles as she greets new visitors in Sunday school. She doesn't want what she doesn't have. She doesn't say, "Look how wonderful I am," but "Look how great you are." She doesn't snub anyone, isn't always looking in a mirror, and doesn't make a mental list for retribution when things don't go her way. She doesn't close herself in but opens her heart and makes herself vulnerable to others.

Love remains while the world crumbles around her.

While we live here on earth we can only see love in other people, a very imperfect reflection of the love of Christ, full of faults and human failures. But in heaven, we'll see Love in the form of Jesus. And now I can know in part -- full of my own humanity, but then I can love perfectly, even as I am completely loved.

The only things that are really important are faith in God, hope for the future, and love from God for every man. But you cannot have faith or hope until you first understand and demonstrate love.

I can work with the poor like Mother Teresa, write literature like C.S. Lewis, sing like Sandi Patti, move people like Gloria Gaither, preach like Billy Graham, have spiritual insight like James Dobson, be a great leader like Martin Luther King Jr., and martyr like Ghandi, but until I love like Jesus my soul is lost.


Bara said...

correct me if i'm wrong! but isn't that just piece of art?!

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

Not sure if you meant this as a real question or a hypothetical question (that's a question that doesn't mean to be answered), Bara. But yes, this is a piece of art -- my counselor gave it to me, and I just loved it. We always need to be reminded what we are really hear for.

Bara said...

I'm sorry for my unclear comment! yes i meant hypothetical question!