Where can one find a dose of love in today’s words?
There is certainly a lot of talk in our public and private channels of communication since the tragedy in Arizona about the need to “tone down” our political rhetoric and to avoid the use of words that imply or sound like the use of violence in our political processes is OK. Speech that sounds to be hateful or may be interpreted to be “hateful” is to be carefully avoided. This is certainly a good step to reduce some of the tension and dangers in the current way that we are trying to conduct our civic matters of business in this country, but I think that we need to take some steps in a completely opposite direction, which is to “elevate” the content of our rhetoric with a dose of love in the words we use.
Paul’s message about a dose of love
Centuries ago a transformed expert in matters of law, a Jewish Pharisee who is known by the name of Paul, wrote some wise words of instruction to a contentious group of Christians in the city of Corinth. This is what he said: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not 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 have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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. But where there are prophecies, they will cease, where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 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 childish ways behind behind me. Now we see but a poor 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. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)*
That is a tremendous statement that touches on several of the issues that are present in our current dangerous political situation. I think that we need a good dose of love in our talk with each other and certainly in how we treat each other. What do you think? What situations require a dose of love the most? Let’s talk about this.
*Scripture quotations taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.