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Tavern Talk #66 - Love.

Love. A simple little word. One we throw around with impunity. But perhaps one we may not see or feel as much as we used to. A verb and noun that we dream of experiencing more yet find celebrated less in the media and perhaps even in arts and entertainment (think those popular streaming shows whose characters have a complete and absolute lack of love for anyone other than themselves). But love is the bedrock of our faith. It’s the principal thing that we have been asked to do. And it is the sole means of our salvation.

hands holding up the letter l, o, v, and e

But what exactly does it mean? It can be defined in so many ways. In fact, the ancient Greeks and many modern languages have many words for love’s different forms. But our focus today is on the definitional help that Paul gave the Corinthians. Paul told them that love is:

  • Patient

  • Kind

  • Does not envy

  • Does not boast

  • Is not proud

  • Does not dishonor others

  • Is not self-seeking

  • Is not easily angered

  • Keeps no record of wrongs

  • Does not delight in evil

  • Rejoices with the truth

  • Always protects

  • Always trusts

  • Always hopes

  • Always perseveres


Wow. That’s a tall order. And it’s not reserved for those we commit to a monogamous long-term relationship. Paul was telling the Corinthians that they must use their spiritual gifts out of love, both with each other (members of that church) and with others.


We must read Paul’s encouraging list along with Jesus’s instructions about the two greatest commandments: Love your neighbor as yourself; and love God with all your heart, mind, and soul. This is how we must love our neighbor. Who? Certainly our family and friends, but also total strangers. And those that we don’t believe deserve our love. We must love them like God loves us – unconditionally. And we must love God that way too. How can we best do that? By loving those that he loves.


Once we can do this, we can worry about all the other facets of theology that we argue and fuss about. Until then, let us focus on love. And may we never forget God’s love for us, which he shows in these same ways, but most specially by allowing us a relationship with him.




1 Corinthians 12 and 13 (the list comes from Ch. 13:4-8)


June Music (via Spotify)


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