Love Is In The Air

“…and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” 1Corinthians 13:2



Love.  It’s all the rage for this week.  The 14th is quickly approaching—Valentine’s—a day that makes men cringe and women cranky.  Men can’t get it right and women feel disappointed.


Whether you’re in a solid relationship, on the rocks, or all by yourself—Thursday will be one of those days that all-too-often falls very short of the hype.  It’s a day set aside for love, yet often times results in the very opposite.  Let’s be honest ladies, short of getting an engagement ring on Valentine’s, the day is often full with unmet expectations.  Cards sometimes miss the mark of mushiness, the single rose may still have the gas-station sticker on it, or the chocolates taste as if they were sealed a year ago.  If we’re being honest…


photo:Renae Bowman

But what if we change things around this year?  What if we take a hard look at what Scripture tells us of love; or more specifically, our own role in this elusive emotion. What if we make giving, more important than the receiving?


Chris Brown, a Senior Pastor of North Coast Church spoke of this very thing sometime back.  I recently saw the notes of his sermon written in the margins of my Bible.  It was a keeper.  His words were profound.  They made an impact.  They’re guidance for life.  And so with his permission, I thought I’d share what he taught us.


The words in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 are the go-to verses for love. Right? I’m sure you’ve heard these: Love is patient; Love is kind, etc. etc.  This scripture is heard over and over again at weddings throughout the world.  Heck, even Hollywood knows the impact of these verses, since they show up in dramas, chick-flicks, and even comedies.


But Pastor Chris reminded us of something.  Love isn’t an emotion; love is an action.  Love is something we DO.  Love requires movement on our part.  And when we realize this, we can see the words of 1 Corinthians in a different way.  They can be the cornerstone of our lives, whether with a spouse or with a stranger.


And  here is where Chris made an impact.  He asked us, “What if we inserted our name wherever the word love is found in verses 4-7?”


Want to see for yourself what he meant?


Insert your name in the blank spot as you read these verses:


___________is patient. ___________is kind. __________does not envy, ___________does not boast, ____________is not proud.  __________is not rude, __________is not self-seeking, _________is not easily angered, __________keeps no record of wrongs. _________does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

 _________always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


Wow! Sure turns things around, doesn’t it?


Chris made it profoundly clear, didn’t he? Love is not an emotion; love is you and I in action. The definition of true love takes on a whole new meaning when we read the verse in this way. It requires ownership on our part over expectations of someone else to provide.


Can we make these verses a personal creed?  Can we change it from a wedding reading to a life mantra?  I think we can.  We won’t be successful 100% of the time, but that is the beauty of how Apostle Paul writes.  His teachings remind us that the verses are not condemnation, but a learned way to live.  If God is asking us to do this, then our commitment should be to try.


Whether to someone special or a complete stranger, what if we spent the week of love living out 1 Corinthians 13? What if we committed to making each one of those commands a check-off of our attitude?  Think of what that would look like in your life.  I know which ones I desperately need to work on.  How about you?


Its a few days early, but I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.  I wish you a day full of inserting yourself into the true definition of love found only in Scripture—not in a folded greeting card. And, I wish you a day of living out love instead of expecting it from the store. What better gift can we give those we love?

photo:Renae Bowman

3 Replies

  1. Lori Perez

    Wow Renae when I put my name in the spaces that was an eye opener for me. I always thought of myself to be those things but when you read them like that it brings times when I wasn’t alot more than when I was. Happy Valentines to you also and I do love you

  2. Suzi Jones

    Thanks for the reminder and for your love.

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