Summary: "I want to show you the best way to take care of virtually every situation, and that is the way of love." Then he points out that love is more important than 5 other things that Christians consider very important.
Love is the Most Excellent Way
The Bible teaches that we are to be people who exercise love in all of our relationships with one another.
1. If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9. For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10. but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
12. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Paul speaks of understanding, patience, and kindness. And when we are understanding, patient and kind, we are generally thoughtful of other people.
Prov. 10:19 Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.
Watch your steps as well. We offend with our words and with our actions.
Romans 14:13b “make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way." NIV
“3. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4. not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” NIV
1. We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
2. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
3. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” NIV
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. NIV
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. NIV
Have you heard the story about the actor who was playing the part of Christ in the Passion Play in the Ozarks? As he carried the cross up the hill a tourist began heckling, making fun of him, and shouting insults at him. Finally, the actor had taken all of it he could take. So he threw down his cross, walked over to the tourist, and punched him out.
After the play was over, the director told him, "I know he was a pest, but I can’t approve of what you did. Besides, you’re playing the part of Jesus, and Jesus never retaliated. So don’t do anything like that again." Well, the man promised he wouldn’t. But the next day the heckler was back worse than before, and finally the actor exploded and punched him out again.
The director said, "That’s it. I have to fire you. We just can’t have you behaving this way while playing the part of Jesus." The actor begged, "Please give me one more chance. I really need this job, and I can handle it if it happens again." So the director decided to give him another chance.
The next day he was carrying his cross up the street. Sure enough, the heckler was there again. You could tell that the actor was really trying to control himself, but it was about to get the best of him. He was clinching his fists and grinding his teeth. Finally, he looked at the heckler and said, "I’ll meet you after the resurrection!"
It is hard for those who profess to be Christians to behave like Christians should. We try to carry our crosses, that is to daily live as He has shown us to live, but if someone insults us, we tend to lose our composure and behave just as though we had never met Jesus, much less made a commitment to life for Him.