“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:3
1 Corinthians 13 is famous for being the love chapter. It is read at weddings and cited in poems. It is inspirational and romantic. But it is also very practical.
1 Corinthians 13 tells us something that is often overlooked. It tells us why we should choose to love. Why I should just bite my lip instead of yelling at the referee. Why I should answer for the hundredth time the question my four year old is asking? These verses give us not only the instruction, but the reason behind it.
It is because love is profitable to us. Love is not solely a sacrifice. In giving, we participate in the blessing of love. We get as we give. It is a profit to all.
Paul tells us that the greatest of all sacrificial actions are of no benefit to us without love. Feeding the poor is great. But if we are doing so without love, we gain no benefit. Being a martyr is the ultimate sacrifice. But if we do so without love, we gain no lasting benefit.
The Bible is the Truth. It reflects the Living Word. It reflects reality. A true perspective is that people always pursue what they perceive to be in their best interest. The Bible is full of admonitions that inform us what is truly in our best interest. None is greater than Paul’s admonition to love. It is only when we choose to love that we actually seek our self-interest.