The Primacy of Love

Matt blogged this week about 1 Corinthians 13 (the love chapter) and how even though it is often read at weddings, it really relates to the love that must exist within the church. I have also been reading 1 Corinthians this week and was struck by the passage that precedes this huge description of love.

Paul is explaining to the church that different people have been given different spiritual gifts in order to work together as a unified body. There is no place for comparison or competition because they will simply become self-defeating. After all, what would happen if our internal organs stopped working together so they could prove how important they all are individually – the body would die!

Unfortunately the same thing happens in churches today: people get so caught up in the ways we are different (how we worship, how we serve each other, what our personal values are) that comparison begins to erode the unity we should have. We easily forget that immediately after Paul lists off a ranking of spiritual gifts, he launches into that famous chapter on love, saying that this is an even more excellent aim to strive for than the most elite spiritual gifts.

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