1 Corinthians 13 is inspirational and romantic. But it is also very practical. These verses tell 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.
Love is profitable to us. It is a sacrifice, but it is also an investment that has a great return. When we invest money in stocks, we sacrifice getting to spend it. But we lay the foundation for future returns. Love is similar, except when we invest in love, we always get an outstanding return. But if we “invest” without love, we get worse than a bear market. It ”profits me nothing.” ”Nothing” is a really bad return.
Paul tells us that even the greatest of all sacrificial actions are of no benefit without love. Feeding the poor is great. But if we are doing so without love, there is no return. 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.
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. Love is seeking the best for others. And when we love, we also seek the best for ourselves.
“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