Faith, Hope and Love
While I was driving today, I was contemplating how important hope is for people. Without it, people dry up inside. The next thought I had was about love. "Well, the combination of hope and love in a person's life is so powerful," I thought to myself. Faith then entered the scene in my mind, completing the third leg of this table. Quickly, my mind brought up the verse that says,
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." -1 Corinthians 13:13
Could we live without one of these? Do we live without one of these?
Interestingly, in this section of the Bible, Paul is writing about spiritual gifts and the work God has called each of us to. We'll come back to this thought in a moment...
What about living without faith?
Without faith, we focus on the natural, rather than on the unseen things God is doing around us. Without faith, there is no confidence to hope. It's easy to set up our lives in such a way that having great faith is not usually necessary. I've done it myself. In many areas of life, I rarely find myself with a need that requires faith (although in a few areas, there are needs that require much faith). Structure can replace faith if we are not careful.
What about living without hope?
Not sure I can say I'm someone who lives without hope (or ever have), but I've definitely known people who have. There is a particular person that comes to mind who lived without hope. She was sick, depressed, lonely, and ended up taking her own life. Hopelessness is more dangerous than we may realize.
What about living without love?
Now, most of us will say we live with love because we have people we love, or relationships who love us. God loves us, right? Right...but in this section of the Bible, we see that Paul is talking about having an attitude of love as we use our gifts, as we work and as we influence others around us. Loving someone and being loving (actions, behaviors, core being) are two very different things. I imagine that God hestitates to equip a loveless person with power.
1 Corinthians 12 and 13 are good chapters to meditate on. This segment serves as a very good reminder. It can help us to reconcile who we show up as in the world with the character God wants us to bring with as we go. It will help us answer this question:
What gifts and purpose has God given me, and how (with what spirit) does He want me to use them?
Just sharing my random thoughts with you today...thank you for reading. :-)