By Richard Sison | 2013
1 Cor 13:1-13 “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all the mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.“
I find it very interesting when people get hyper when it comes to their knowledge of the Bible. Everyone thinks that they are right and they have the “franchise” of the“correct” interpretation of the Bible. Quoting verse 9 “For we know in part and we prophesy in part”. Shaul (Apostle Paul) tells us that we ONLY know in part. If this is the case, why are we so arrogant as if we know it all? I think we should emulate how Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna and a direct disciple of Apostle John, and Anicetus, bishop of Rome, settled their theological differences and practices in 150-155
C.E.. They agree to disagree and left in peace without offending one another (History of the Christian Church Vol 2 p213).
"If we THINK we know more, are we not supposed to be more understanding? Why can’t we handle differences of opinion in a godly way?"
We are so ready to shoot when we find a little bit of theological issue. What if they are right and we are wrong? Even if we are right and they are wrong but if causes another brother to stumble, are we not sinning against God? Shaul put it gently in 1 Tim 5:1-2 “Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.”
Verse 2 states that “If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all the mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing”. Let me say this, if we think we know better, let us be more gentle and more understanding.
I remember many years ago when I used to have a cat. When she was still a kitten, she would react violently to any and every threat. After several years and she has grown and became old, she hardly reacts to the bark of the dog or even a real threat from a dog. She would just stop and look and walk away gently not because she cannot fight but because she knows that she can hurt the dog just like in the past. This is what Shaul is saying in verse 11 “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.”
Shaul summed it all in verse 13 “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. “ He also commanded us in the next passage after that, “Pursue love” (1 Cor 14:1).