English blog

1 Corinthians 13:3 – Love or maybe not?

15-10-2019 - Posted by Andre Piet

And if ever I should be morselling out all my possessions, and if is I should be giving up my body, that I should be boasting, yet may have no love, in nothing do I benefit.

In verse 1 Paul spoke about being able to speak exceptional languages, in verse 2 about knowing exceptional things. In the verse above it is about exceptional sacrifice. In which Paul establishes in all these cases that all these exceptional things without love mean nothing.

The examples in this verse are perhaps the most difficult to understand because, at first glance, they seem to be the ultimate examples of what love is. Because does someone who sells all his possessions and distributes them as food not prove love? Or can someone delivering his body not boast of love? Paul’s answer is: no, such acts are not necessary proofs of love.

Whether something is love (agape) is not determined by the act itself, but by the motive behind it. A generous gift can be driven by self-interest. For example, to draw attention to itself. And even someone who sacrifices himself can do that to gain a place in the hereafter. Indeed self-interest. Such motives betray unfamiliarity with the love of GOD…