1 Corinthians 13:1-3: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

As a Roman colony in 44 BC, Corinth flourished and became the administrative capital of the Roman province of Achaea. Still today, Corinth is a major road hub and back in the day of the Apostle Paul I imagine it was a cultural melting pot with an influx of visitors from all over the world. Paul’s friends lived in an exciting city teaming with people, some of them brilliant, some of them influential. Apparently, in their daily interactions they couldn’t help but be impressed with certain people’s resumes. They started inviting them over and listened to what they had to say. Some of their advice came to Paul’s attention and it did not sit well with him.

In Paul’s ensuing letter he put things into perspective. In a laundry list of human accomplishments, Paul featured highly talented people who were multi linguist, performed major breakthroughs in scientific research and had a faith that could move mountains – whether this was literally or figuratively speaking is beside the point. Beyond that, these people were willing to sacrifice their lives for a good cause. In a nutshell, Paul was describing Wonder Woman or Superman – and yet, both Superman and Wonder Woman could entirely miss the mark. In his ballad on love Paul painted a vivid picture revealing to the sophisticated Corinthians what truly matters.

Great deeds come from great motivation. As an example, we know that sacrificing one’s life is considered the ultimate expression of altruism – however, self-sacrifice can be marred by cold fanaticism. Terrorist suicidal missions are a glaring example. Heart of the matter is the presence or absence of love in everything we do or refrain from doing.

Original love flows from God. Connected to the Originator of the universe we live a life inspired by His love. Love is real because God is real; love is authentic because God is authentic; and love is the greatest because God is the greatest.

1 Corinthians 13:13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

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