Wednesday, July 12, 2023 – 1 Corinthians 13

At first glance, the congregation at Corinth looked like an amazing place to be. Paul wrote that they had been “enriched in every way” (1 Corinthians 1:4). As far as spiritual gifts were concerned, this congregation had every gift imaginable! The apostle Paul once reminded them, “in Christ you have been enriched in every way . . . you do not lack any spiritual gift.” Whatever assignment God had for them, they definitely had the resources to pull it off.  

But instead of using their God-given gifts to build each other up and fulfill God’s assignments for them, members of this church used their gifts to build themselves up at each other’s expense. This caused all kinds of deep and painful divisions within their church.

The solution? What Paul called “a more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31). Paul wrote that you may be the most talented, skilled, and gifted person on the planet, but if you don’t have love, you have nothing.

On the other hand, if you do have love, you have everything. Love gives you patience, kindness, contentment, humility, attentiveness, perseverance, endurance, faith, hope, and many other qualities that enrich the lives of those around you.

But how is anyone really supposed to do this “love” thing? Any one of these traits would be incredibly difficult to achieve, let alone the whole list! The good news is that it isn’t about us achieving the qualities, but about trusting The One who is all these qualities—Jesus! By the power of the Spirit, Jesus has promised to work these qualities in us! That means we can stop trying so hard and let Jesus do the job of transforming us with his love!

Questions for reflection:

  1. Where have you experienced God’s love through someone else’s spiritual gifts? How did that impact you?
  2. Where have you seen someone impacted by God’s love through your spiritual gifts? What did that look like?

Bible passages for further exploration: Mark 12:28-34, John 15:12-17, 1 John 3:11-18