(A word of explanation: This is a reflection that I wrote back in 2010 based heavily on 1 Corinthians 13. In many ways I’ve grown more since then than I had before then, but I still think it’s worthy of sharing with you.)
When I was a child, my thinking was that of a child. I would talk as a child talks and use childish logic to navigate my life. When I became a man I ceased to be a child. Just as a child’s arms and legs grow and a boy’s voice deepens as the child grows into a man’s body and voice, so a child’s thinking and logic grows into a man’s thinking and logic. As a man it is clear that when he was a child his logic was flawed and so the man leaves his childish ways behind him and becomes the man he was always meant to grow into.
Yet what is this man that I have become? If I merely speak with eloquent words and passionately argue my case yet have a heart empty of love then I am merely a wind chime hanging in the breeze. If I were to know all the laws of nature and the ins and outs of every mystery in the world or if I was a miracle worker of God who could speak to the elements and calm the storms and halt the sunset yet live without love in my heart, then I would be nothing. If I were to throw myself into academic life attending lectures and doing all the assignments and spending hours each day pouring over books in my studies to gain a degree or if I were to take all that I had and sell it to give the money to the poor and yet had no love in my heart, then it would have been pointless.
Into a man I have grown from being a child and as that man I know that whatever I should do with my life it will have no value unless I have love. A wise man listens to counsel while fools flee from words of warning. In my last days as a child a wise person once told me of Love and what it is:
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful, neither is it proud or rude. Love is not self-seeking and it is slow to anger. It keeps no tally of the wrongs done against it. Love hates evil but delights in the truth.
Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always carries on strong no matter what because Love never fails.”
As a man all I need is faith, hope and love and the one upon which I have chosen to base my life is the greatest of the three, Love. Yet no longer shall I live with a child’s love that clings merely to what it wants but with a man’s love that loves for the sake of love despite the consequences.