Monday, June 22, 2015

1 Corinthians 13:8-12 -- On Crumble-proof Love

"Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."
1 Corinthians 13:8-12

This is talking about charity, which is the pure love of Christ (Moroni 7:47), and how it never fails.  Other things fail.  Other types of love seems to crumble frequently... romantic love for instance.  Even prophecies, languages, knowledge... which are pretty permanent things.  Prophecies often are layered, with one fulfillment coming, and then another later, so they usually are pretty solid.  But we can also misinterpret them, or invalidate them by our disobedience, because almost all prophecies are tied to faith and righteousness in some way.  Languages die, and then it is tough to translate them later, or know how they were pronounced.  All the beauty of the literature and poetry has to be translated if it is to be enjoyed, and the wonder of the spoken language itself might be lost entirely.  Knowledge, one of the rare things that matters beyond this life, can also be lost.  We may have seen this in ourselves when we've lost the spirit, and we suddenly can't remember things that really mattered to us before.  Everything we counted on is somehow in doubt.  Other kinds of knowledge are lost because it just isn't true.  The papers claiming that this or that group were inferior because of race or gender.  The papers claiming that cigarettes were perfectly healthy.  The older beliefs about the earth being flat or the sun rotating around the earth.  Paul makes it plain that our perspective is flawed.  Our perspective on earth is like looking at everything far off through a telescope.  We will notice some things, and not others.  But after this life, we will see clearly, as God sees.  Which sounds pretty cool, and probably will surprise us a little at how clear things are.
So, until then, our perspective is flawed, and even the things that seem certain and lasting can fail us... so what can we do to make sure our footing is secure?  Paul tells us this as well.  "Charity *never* faileth."  God's love can get us through even the most challenging times, and it will endure even when it seems like our foundations are crumbling.  If we learn to love people in a pure, godly way, we will be able to stay on track.  The two great commandments are love God and love other people, and if we remember those, and do those things, then even when we don't understand and things seem to shift beneath our feet, we have something to hang on to.  We can rely on God's love for us, and know what to do by showing Christlike love for others.  Today, let's rely on love, even if everything else is chaos.

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