1 Though 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. 2 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. 3 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.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
11 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. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Grow in Your Love
One of the greatest signs of our spiritual maturity is how we love others.
Do we keep score? Do we keep track of what others owe us where love is concerned? (Well, I took the trash out for you, so you should mop the floor.)Like little children do we only give love when it is given to us first? Do we withhold loving kindness when we feel it isn’t deserved by another, especially when we are irritated or angry with them?
Put Away Childish Love
It’s time to put away childish love and love like our Father. Pour it out, in abundance, on needy, hurting, messy people like you and like me. The thing is, it’s easy for us to see how messy other people are, but we tend to make excuses for ourselves. “I’m just having a bad day,” we’ll think.
Verse 11 tells us that we have to put away three things: talking, thinking, and reasoning like a child. Instead, it’s time to love people who look, act, believe, do life differently from you. It’s time to grow up and grow in your love. Be loved, Beloved.
- Of the three things we are told to put away in verse 11 (talking, speaking, and reasoning like a child), is there one in particular that you struggle with the most? Write it in your journal.
- Pray about this struggle. Can you identify any patterns in how you think, speak, or reason incorrectly? If so, write them down and ask the Holy Spirit to point it out when you’re acting that way. One book that I am reading right now that is helping me so much with my thinking is called Switch on Your Brain, The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking and Health by Dr. Caroline Leaf (affiliate link). Learning how to discipline my thoughts is immensely helpful, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. As we learn to think, speak, and reason correctly, we better reflect our Father and grow in loving Him and others.
- Feel free to share any thoughts/insights in the comments. We’d love to hear what’s on your mind.
This devo went deep. I have not lived up to God’s standard for love for me or others. I have believed that He loves me like the way I love others. Score keeper. Pay backer. Withvholder. Forgive me Jesus. When I let the true Love of God into my heart, I will have what I need to truly love others. Love is a sacrifice, a gift, a decision. God gives us His greatest gift (Love, Himself) for us to use to fulfill His greatest commandment, to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Amen. Be loved, Beloved!
My struggle has been in thinking like a child. I will sometimes fall into childhood patterns of thinking to deal with my emotions, which can lead to childish, unloving actions. I am also prone to spiraling if I let toxic thoughts about people, situations, our the world dominate my thoughts.
Dr Leaf’s work shows us that because God made us, we are wired for love. Wrong thinking can cause us to live fear-based lives instead of the love-based lives He designed us to live. As I line up my thoughts with His truth and Word, I am better able to love like God.