When Hanky and I got married one of our scriptures we focused on was 1 Corinthians 13:13, faith hope and love. Ever since then I have thought a lot about that scripture.
In mid two thousand and twenty I started wondering what a life of faith hope and love would look like and thinking about how I would like my life to resemble faith hope and love.
People sometimes choose a word or a theme for the year as a resolution. Sometimes we put together bible studies, groups, and events revolving around a word or theme. Most churches I’ve been to do different series that last a certain length of time revolving around a word or a theme.
I was thinking about choosing one for the rest of my life!
As a sinner, and a man of faith, I always try to seek out God’s desires for me, humans in general really. I often question what he really views as acceptable. My own insecurities and sometimes the world, often tell me I shouldn’t smoke as a Christian, or cuss, or keep getting tattoos or have a long beard, or that I should give the homeless man on the corner money every day, regardless of whether he could get a job or not. Sometimes I feel like there’s more to it than that. I turn to the bible, preachers, and friends I trust with these questions often, and it always seems to come back to my own relationship with God.
I feel like God made us who we are for a reason and he just wants a relationship with us, and at the core of it all he wants us to WANT to be better people.
I think there’s something intentionally planted in the words faith, hope and love that is indescribably spiritually freeing, and God wants us to have that. It’s the whole enchilada. He dosen’t want to require it. And he dosen’t love us any less if we don’t always get it, or understand it. But I think he wants us to always seek it. The way I would want my children to.
So, I decided, I would love to learn how to live a life that always resembles faith hope and love. Where everything I did had one of those characteristics tied to it.
So I’ve been trying.
Every decision I make I try to remember to ask myself where is the faith hope and love in this.
How I interacted with, responded to, and care for the people God puts in my life, I try to always remember this. And if in the moment I fail, only to realize it later, I try to do what I can to make it right.
I also want my life to look like faith hope and love. When people see me that’s what I want them to see.
I want them to see I have faith without me saying it, I have hope and give other’s hope by the life I’m leading. And love, the most important of all. I want to show love, even when it feels impossible to do.
Sinners like me have a way of making things like faith hope and love….. that should be easy….. extra hard.
So I’m still working on that.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
1If 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. 2If 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. 3If 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.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love 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. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When 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. 12For 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.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.