I Corinthians 13 NIV
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 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. v 1-3
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. v 4-8
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. v. 11
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. v 13
When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth in his first letter, he wanted them to understand that when love is the key element that guides–things will work themselves out to the benefit of all. Now if love is key to positive things occurring in our midst, the opposite would be true as well. If love is the greatest of all the virtues, then hate is the worst.
Without love, all the talk becomes a lot of noise–as we see in the White House–noise about everything, but caring about all Americans. Without love–we are nothing and gain nothing worthwhile in life.
Let’s look at what happens when hate (the polar opposite of love) abides in the hearts of men and women.
Hate is impatient with self and others. Hate is not kind, but brutal, lacking compassion for others. Hate is envious of everyone and leads to mindless, incoherent obsessions about others. Hate is always boastful about perceived accomplishments, even when none exists. Hate is proud–always wants to be the center of attention, taking credit for what others do that is good, always blaming others when things don’t go their way. Hate shows contempt and disdain for others, never respecting others as they want to be respected. Hate shows no concern for others, but always pushes forth what they want regardless of circumstances. Hate gets angry easily–everything is a trigger for their anger when people don’t agree with them or praise them. Hate keeps an enemy list–always ready to seek revenge upon those who dare to oppose them. Hate promotes treating others with contempt and with violence and never accepts facts as truth, but instead promotes alternative facts as truth and then gets angry when they are disputed. Hate trusts no one, but self and those who worship them; hate never hopes for anything but what they want, and is constantly changing directions (flip-flopping) just to align what happens with their “lips” in an attempt to take credit for whatever good occurs. Hate doesn’t protect anyone other than self and will throw others under the bus in an instant.
Because hate destroys, nothing can be built on a firm foundation unless love exists to build.
When most of us navigated childhood into adulthood, we stopped thinking like spoiled brats and accepted responsibility for all we do or did. We understand that we are accountable for everything we do or don’t do and we cannot blame others for our shortcomings or ineptness. When we became adults–we left behind the ways of the child that we no longer were.
If we look closely at what Paul is saying, we can easily see that love is a far better virtue than hate. What I don’t understand is how–people who claim to be Christians can allow so much hatred to abide in their hearts that they do all sorts of hateful things to others and think they have a right to do so. There is a difference between people being religious and being truly Christian and those who hate others–are not Christians, they are merely religious. Christians–by the virtue of who Christ is–are never to hate people, but sin–the act of opposing God, not the person opposing God. For if we are always condemning others because of what they do, we will never win them with love.
Are we so “perfect” that we forget we, too were once sinners (and some still are)? We are not perfect people and we will never be perfect people as long as we can “choose what we do.” That is an inherent fact that many so-called Christians overlook in their condemnation of others–not one of us is perfect.
I am dismayed over the revelation of right-wing Christians and white nationalists groups in their attempts to overthrow the government by voting for the current resident in the White House. I have found evidence that points to what I have long suspected that trump is simply a tool and now that things appear to be unraveling, those behind the plot to destroy democracy expect to escalate their plans–including getting away with murder of anyone who doesn’t look like them (the purpose of Sessions as the AG). And the saddest revelation is that Russia is behind it all.
Nevertheless, I will continue to love and speak truth to those who hate and those in positions of authority until I can speak no more. Love is all we really have to combat hatred and I will not submit to the enemy and hate other human beings.
It is because of love that I plan to run for president in 2020. It is because of my love for children, the working class, senior citizens, veterans of the military, and all those who work to protect and educate others. It is my love for my colleagues, family and friends–known and unknown that I know I can be a president to and for all Americans. When love leads the way, all benefit and none fail.