“Now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love,” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
1 Cor. 13:13 is by far my favorite verse from the Bible. It shows that love is the greatest of all the virtues–greater than faith and greater than hope. It is my opinion that many Christians live with a faith-centered mindset. Don’t get me wrong; faith is important. However, love is greater!
Yet how often do we reflect on the meaning of the word love? What is love? The following biblical verse comes to mind immediately: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” (John 15:13). This quote from Jesus nearly moves me to tears every time that I read it. Our Lord clearly teaches that love requires an ultimate self-gift, a fatal sacrifice. Though it may seem that we are incapable of such an act, I believe wholeheartedly that we can and must spiritually and literally “die” for our friends as Jesus died for us. We–the baptized–have the power of the Holy Spirit within us so that we may live as Christ lived. Equally, the Spirit gives us the fortitude to die as Christ died. We cannot take away the sin of the world in the same way that Christ did thorough his death and resurrection, but we can benefit from the fruits of the Holy Spirit in order to do our part in reducing sin and spreading love.
If you have a free moment, I ask you to reflect on the following questions:
1) Are you ready to give your life for your friends?
2) In the coming week what actions can you take to initiate or continue the process of sanctification through self-gift?
3) What might giving your life for your friends look like in this day and age?
May the Holy Spirit fill you with the strength of God. May He bless you with many opportunities to give to others by sacrificing yourself.