Faith and hope naturally go together, like a couple dating, but love gets left behind, like the odd man out.
It’s easy to keep faith and have hope. Love, however, is often simply forgotten. It gets left undone.
I think this is because faith and hope are internal to each of us – they are pure beliefs or feelings. Love, however, as Christian rap trio DC Talk (Wiki link) says, Luv is a Verb.
“luv is a word that requires some action.”
I like the way the AMPC Bible translation describes the three:
1 Corinthians 13:13
Faith – conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things;
Hope – joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation;
Love – true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us.
It’s that last part I know I miss. Sure, I’m grateful to God for what He has done – for me. But extending that to others?
Selfishness is a default human setting, maybe? It’s an extra step to “give them (others) the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)
“Giving comfort” is really all love is. And I know what that feels like because I’ve received it. A lot of it.
So all I need to do is imitate God, maybe?
I can do this in some ways. As far as I know, I’ve never provided anything materially miraculous, but I’ve been gentle, kind, (mostly) faithful and considerate. (“Polite but sarcastic,” according to the Greenwood Village cop who booked me for OUI in ’96. And I held out my hand to shake, as if to thank him for busting me…)
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 describes what love is and isn’t, and it all comes down to the attitudes I take towards people.
A few versions use a different word for it: Faith, Hope, and Charity.
Love – unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me (AMP)
We have three things to do… trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. (MSG)
Does thinking of love in these “verb-ish” terms make it an easier thing to do? I’ll give it (and whoever I meet) a shot and let you know.
Images from PxHere.com, Creative Commons Zero (CC0).