Either Love or Nothing

by DanWolgemuth on January 10, 2014

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 
(1 Corinthians 13:2)

When God makes a declaration like the one above, I better pay attention.  Amazingly the contrasts that God draws throughout the powerful and familiar text of 1 Corinthians 13 is not a comparison of good and evil; or bad and better; or hideous and holy.  No, God is comparing the gifts that the Holy Spirit of God imparts against the backdrop of love.  And the analysis is stunning and sobering.

I could have it all in spiritual terms – wisdom, miraculous power, mountain moving faith, a sacrificial commitment to generosity, a willingness to die a heroic death… but the absence of love makes each of these gifts worthless.  Nothing.

The very practical definition of what love behaves like eliminates any ambiguity around our demonstration of this core gift…

Words like patient, kind, humble, gentle, selfless, gracious, faithful, hopeful, courageous, optimistic, authentic, and rugged add substance to a chapter of scripture that too often is only deployed at a wedding ceremony.

Love isn’t an emotion; it’s a behavior; it’s a lifestyle; it’s a diligence of mind that permeates every facet of our being. 

I don’t fall in love; I choose to love… and I do so with every fiber of my being. 

Love is strong and durable and dependable and outrageous and oblivious to the score.  Love is powerful and swift and thoughtful and valiant and meek.

Love is the ingredient in life that makes every other ingredient come to life… and without which we’re left with absolutely nothing. 


It isn’t the process of going from an A+ to a B or B-… no; God tells us that life without love is going from an A+ to F. 

Love is the word that I have chosen to light my way in 2014.  More than a word for the year, it’s my journey, my commitment, my classroom, my confession, my pacesetter, my mentor, my friend, my convictor, my companion…

The Holy Spirit is faithful to teach and to reprimand and to guide and to convict… because, after all, if I don’t have love, then what I have is nothing.

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 

Why would I want anything less?
Teach me.  Show me.  Help me.

To love. 

Just starting; still learning; love.

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