The Rule of Love
April 10, 2006 ē By Ed Wrather
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 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. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. - 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.
In the United States, we have finally gotten around to dealing with the immigration issue. Five hundred thousand people demonstrated in Dallas, Texas today along with thousands more across the country. It will be very hard for the issue to be ignored after these demonstrations and an expectation of even larger ones coming.
How can this situation be addressed in a way that would be pleasing to our Lord? There is a rule that has been given to us that appears to address the many different facets that are involved. What is that rule? It is the rule of love. As you read these thoughts please remember that according to 1 Corinthians 13, love does not behave rudely, love does not seek its own, love is not provoked, love is kind and love suffers long.
How can we apply the rule of love to the immigration issue? There are many different issues within the immigration debate such as a need for workers, separation of families, the burden on social services, and the security issue. It is obvious that even if it were made a felony to be in this country illegally that it would be a virtual impossibility to deport eleven million people, or even a few million, and even more of a strain to try to incarcerate them. (Note: Please donít forget that - love does not behave rudely, love does not seek its own, love is not provoked, love is kind and love suffers long. )
From the view of those here illegally,there is much stress about their future in this country. However, there is also much stress upon the citizens of the country as to their security. Using the rule of love as a guide, we should not arbitrarily destroy the lives of those who have become contributing members of this society. However, using the rule of love it is reasonable to provide protection to those who are currently citizens of this country from terrorist attack, which means securing the borders of the country. (Note: Please donít forget that - love does not behave rudely, love does not seek its own, love is not provoked, love is kind and love suffers long. )
My point of all of this is that by using the rule of love overly harsh words and actions can be and should be avoided. Certainly, the rule of love would indicate there should be no violence as some threaten. My fear is that without the use of the rule of love which is given to us in 1 Corinthians 13 we will have an ever escalating, stressful, and dangerous problem for everyone involved. Perhaps, there can be much good to come out of all of this if we would all strive to live our lives according to this rule of love. Remember - love does not behave rudely, love does not seek its own, love is not provoked, love is kind and love suffers long.
One final point recommending the rule of love is that, "Love never fails.Ē Isnít that great? Love even comes with a guarantee!