About 15 years ago I got into an argument with radio personality Dr. Laura over a verse in 1 Corinthians 13. Dr. Laura was discussing love and wanted contributions on what it meant. Being a newly minted Christ follower I was quick to respond by sending her an email (quite advanced technology at the time) with the famous ‘love chapter” of the New Testament cited above. So far so good. We’ve all heard it sometime or other. Usually at weddings, but it can pop up just about anywhere church folk congregate. Sometimes even in church. Most often it is reduced to a strong into followed with a string a poetically presented platitudes like the string in Verse 4: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
Dr. Laura bought off on all of them with great praise, until she came to the first sentence in Verse 8, “Love never fails.” This pronouncement really tweaked the good Doctor. She went off on how love fails all the time. And that sometimes instead of love, people just need a proverbial good smack upside the head.
The “Love Chapter” is usually easy to love until any reader comes up with the difficulty of putting it into practice. There’s where the Love Chapter becomes easy to hate.
When Dr. Laura’s logic kicked in, the idea that “love never fails” blew her mind. We all have been in love. We have all loved our kids, our families, our friends. And we all fail. But Dr. Laura’s logic is tragically flawed. God has offered us a self description in scripture, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” —1 John 4:8. In case we we’re being really dense He repeated the description in 1 John 4:16 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.”
So, if God is Love like He claims, they we must accept the statement “Love never fails”. Over the next few posts we will explore some of the lessons I learned about love since my encounter with Dr. Laura. I also hope this encourages more of us toward an understanding of God’s unconditional love for us. And that His love can move us, in our humanity, to try to imitate His being with our actions toward others.