Adding The Ingredient of Love

Wayne Cordeiro

"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" (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
This is not an either/or proposition, but a both and. I know He is not saying to forfeit one for the other. He is not saying "throw away the ability to communicate like an angel and just love instead. Not is He saying not to prophesy, forget mysteries and knowledge, faith and sacrifice, and just go around living on people.
No. In fact He is saying to develop all those wonderful qualities. but add to each the ingredient of love. And lest we come to a wrong conclusion of what love is, he defines it for us.
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, and always perseveres.
True love involves character. I don' find listed here, at least in the basic qualities of love, anything about feelings, emotion, and romance. Instead, we find solid character:
Patience, kindness, humility, self-control, and honesty are listed as the primary drivers of this quality of love. It doesn't mean that the feelings and romance are not viable, but they are not principle components to the kind of love that "never fails."
It takes both. The competencies of life skills as well as the quality of love, if combined, will gain much.
I must do both. I have seen well meaning people err on either side. Some will overemphasize love without people skills. Then others will err on developing great skills but are without love.
One becomes pliable and poor, and the other becomes hardened and successful. Both can be beneficial, but neither is whole. I need to be both.
But can that be done in tandem? Can these be developed hand in hand?
I think so. Jesus did, and I must as well. Of course, my human nature becomes such an opponent to my development, but I must do what I can to reduce its effectiveness in me so that Christ my rule and reign.
Lord I sure need your help on this. I often feel so inadequate to the task you have given me. It's either that I put too high of a bar on my life, or I am actually not cutting the mustard. Sometimes I run without much feedback, and any help I get, I feel I must scrounge for. But I will keep going as long as you give me strength, and I will be faithful till the end. That I will do. I just pray that you extend my shelf life and give me sustainability. Please bring faithful people who will keep their hand to the plow with great joy, ones that will not let go at crucial points of the harvest. Form and fashion the team we have now so we will please you for as many years as you give us sustenance.

Devotions for March 28

Judges 4,5
Psalm 39,41
1 Corinthians 13

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