When I was in elementary, one of my teachers gave me a spiritual booklet about love. There, I've known what the Bible says about Love. I memorized I Corinthians 13 verses 1-13.
At the last verse is this:
"And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."
Yes, for sure, love is the greatest. But it still makes me wonder, why do these three remain. What do we call them? Are they virtues or characters? Sure, they are, you may say, but these three are not just are the most common gifts to Christians and they are eternal, transcending, and can be considered as driving forces in our human life.
We often hear the quote "Faith can move mountains.", and why is that? According to the Bible, to have faith is to believe what is impossible, to see what is unseen. It is being sure and trusting that things that we hoped for will come into completion. It is an assurance that we have as we put our trust in the Lord and His will.
Faith is related to fear because most often than not, fear can consume a person. There are many kinds of fear, but the fear that faith is fighting over is the fear of the unknown, of the uncertain, of what is to come. To have faith means to overcome the fear of what is it that you don't know yet. To have faith means to lay down everything to Him and fully trust that whatever it is that He allows is something that you deserve. To have faith like closing your eyes while you walk on a tightrope, but you know, you're very sure, that Someone up there is going to hold you and guide you, and if you fall, He is there to catch you.
Hope, when translated to the Filipino language means "pag-asa". (Read: pag-asa, not paasa.). My favorite band Switchfoot would always end their subscription email with the words "Hope is the anthem", referring to one of their songs. Personally, I like this word as it gives a sense of positivity when you hope for something.
I really like this verse from Jeremiah 29:11 giving us the promise that God has a plan for us, and this plan to give us hope and a future. Hope is something that you look forward to, something that is to be seen and received and felt in the future. Hope is not just simply a wish, hope is more related to having faith, it is trusting that the things that you hope for will be granted, as long as it is aligned to His will. Hope also means looking forward to what is beyond this human life, hope is waiting patiently for what is to come, for the perfection of our souls, for eternal life that is to be lived with Him.
Love is the greatest. Love is defined in I Corinthians 13 as patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, doesn't dishonor others, not self-seeking, not easily angered, doesn't keep a record of wrongs, doesn't delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres.
Love is a lot of things. And all those words that define what love is are almost always related to action. I've attended one of Francis Kong's talks, and he said that LOVE is an ACTION WORD. I believe that it should be seen as more than a noun, it should be felt, and given, and received. It should be shown in many ways - through service, gifts, words, time, and intimacy.
We should not be confused with what is true love and artificial love. True love means more than physical attraction, it gives more importance to accept that the one you love is not perfect, he/she can be the opposite of it. When you write down the characteristics of the kind of partner that you wish to have, he/she may not tick off everything on the list, but you choose to live him/her anyway.
Why is love the greatest of all?
Love is the greatest because it is not easy to love, especially because of our flaws as human beings. It is easy to express love to the people that we love, however, as humans, we also get tired, frustrated, angry, and sometimes it's just so hard to love difficult people. But as God commands us to love others as we love Him, we should be capable of loving the unlovable.
Love is the greatest because when faith and hope fail, love remains.
Let's be reminded that God's commandments are summarized into two, and are rooted deeply in the concept of love.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
While we are still on Earth, it is our responsibility to love God above everything else and to love others as to how much we love ourselves. (See self-love is equally important as loving others.)
So let me end with quoting Ms. Kris Aquino:
"LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!"
Okay, don't forget faith and hope, too.
Thanks for reading!