I am a big fan of the Beatles. I always have been. The amount memorabilia I own of the Fab 4 makes me proud. So this past week I could not help but of think of the words sung by one of my favorite bands when Pastor Rich began preaching a sermon on 1 Corinthians 13 which is known as the love chapter.
In the song ‘All you need is Love’, (Lennon-McCartney, 1967) the Beatles famously sang, “All you need is love. Love is all you need.” The Beatles sang many songs about love and even continued that theme into their solo work. John Lennon states in the song ‘Mind Games,’ (Lennon, 1973) “Love is the answer, you know that for sure.” So did they (the Beatles) have it right? Sort of…
Love is the answer. But it must be accompanied by action.
In this chapter Paul is continuing his discussion on the gifts of the Spirit. Many in the church at Corinth are continuing to argue and be divided over thinking some gifts are better than others. Paul tells them the greatest gift they could ever desire is to love well in everything they do. It is the best way to live.
“And now I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of angels, and have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol” (1 Cor. 13:1). Love is not just a feeling, but a behavior. It should not be just words, but those words need to be acted upon, otherwise they are meaningless. Love is people in action.
Here is a personal example. This past Sunday morning I was out scraping the snow off my car and I saw a man walking on the sidewalk. I could tell he was very cold. He looked at me, stopped and said, “Do you know how far I need to go to get to CVS at the corner of Sawmill and Hard Road?” To make a long story short, I told him I was heading in that direction anyway and offered him a ride. He was so grateful. Please do not think I am not telling this story to toot my own horn. I am telling this story to show that at this point this made a choice. He could have said thank you and left it at that. But he chose to go a step further. He decided to put his words into action. He told me that he cut grass for a living and that if I ever needed my lawn cut to let him know and he would do it for free. He chose to reciprocate the love that was shown to him.
Jesus gives us the choice to love others unselfishly the way that he loved us. He gave us His love as a free gift. We did not earn that love. Now He gives us the choice to love Him back. We also have the choice to show this same love people in this world or not.
In a relationship there is a true give and take involved with two people. We can apply this in the context of a marriage or a dating relationship; a relationship between a parent and a child or it may be in the context of a friendship or even someone you don’t know. You have the choice on how to love others or to love them at all even if it may not be reciprocated at all or in the way you expect it to be.
In what ways can you show love in action today?