June 21, 2024

Loveby James Smith,

Looking at the world around us, most of us would have to concede that there is something wrong.  But there’s always been something wrong, hasn’t there?  You can’t explain the Hitler’s and Khan’s and Nero’s of the world without admitting that something is just out of sync with God’s intention for mankind.  Even if we call these obviously “evil” men abnormalities, what do we call the hundreds of thousands who follow them and twist our world into something dark and chaotic?  For every Hitler, there are thousands who pick up guns to follow him.  For every Pilate, there are thousands screaming “Crucify him!  Crucify him!”  Yes, something is wrong in our world.

Coming closer to home, it is hard not to recognize that whatever is wrong with our world is also wrong with our families, our friends, and with us.  Marriages and relationships that we thought and intended to last forever end almost every day.  Somewhere along the way, the wheels fall off!  What is wrong in our lives?!

A Bible verse that seems to fly in the face of our culture today is 1 Corinthians 13:8.  It reads “Love never fails.”

As defined by wikipedia, “Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. Love is also a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection; and “the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”. Love may also be described as actions towards others or oneself based on compassion, or as actions towards others based on affection.”

True “love” encompasses all of these attributes.  It is emotion, virtue, and action.  When we have all three attributes, Paul says that love “never” fails.

Mirriam-Webster defines “never” as 1. not ever : at no time and 2. not in any degree : not under any condition.  At no time and under no condition will love “fail.”  That’s a pretty big claim!

Why then do marriages fail?  Why do kids rebel against parents who love them?  Why do men and women commit atrocious acts of evil against one another?  Culture and society are not getting better.  If we enter marriages with love, why are so many of them failing?  If we’re trying to love one another, why is there so much discord and hatred in our society?  Why has our culture become a breeding ground for division, whether it is over politics, race, religion, or sexual orientation?  Why did the “love revolution” of the 60’s fail to transform our country and our world?  Did love fail?

I don’t think that love failed.  I think we failed to love.  We failed to love “one another” the way God designed and wants us to.  Husbands, we have failed to love our wives the way God wants us to. Wives have failed to love their husbands the way God wants us to.  Republicans fail to love Democrats and Democrats fail to love Republicans.

All the hatred, discord, division, and animosity would stop if only we could learn to “love one another.”  Jesus called this the 2nd greatest commandment after “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.”  We have to learn to love as an emotion, virtue, and action.  Love is NOT just an emotion.  We have to learn to love even when the emotion is not there.

Why?  Because love never fails.  At no time; under any condition will love fail.

So, you want a better marriage?  Love!  Want a better family?  Love!  Want a more productive career?  Love!  Want a better community?  Love!  Want a better world?  Love!  Want a closer relationship with God?  Love!

Love the way God designed you to love!  Love the way you were meant to love!  Love will never fail!

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