1 Corithians 13:3
“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
Paul finalizes telling us what love isn’t in this third verse. It isn’t what you do, or can do in the future to earn your place in the Kingdom of God. We as humans want to believe there is some way, some method we can earn God’s favor. By going to the extreme in his examples, Paul puts that belief system to rest in this simple verse. You can give everything you own away, you can be so heroic as to sacrifice your body for another; but, without love, you’ve gained nothing in God’s eyes.
The reason for this is explained by the Apostle Paul in Romans 3:10, “just as it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one.”. Also the Prophet Isaiah tells us in Isaiah 64:6 “ But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousness’s are like filthy rags…”
It’s far easier to think about earning that final reward than opening yourself up and being vulnerable to hurt by loving and bestowing love to all you come in contact with on a daily basis. But, as we’ve seen in these past three verses, God has no need and no desire for who we are, what we have or what we do. Love trumps all of our efforts, and always will.
Do I make use acts of good works as excuses to not show love?
Lord, forgive me when I act foolishly and believe my good works satisfy you. Forgive me when I substitute action for simple kind love. Instill in me an understanding empathetic love which only you can provide.
Patrick is a member of Pleasant Grove Reformed Church, a native Texan
and a father of three. As an author, when he is not writing, he works in the oil & gas industry.
At 11 A.M. for our worship service!