So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
– 1 Corinthians 13:13
In Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth he explains the importance of love. He ends the section stating “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” But why is love the greatest of those three?
To know God is to know love. God pours his love into us, and it overflows into every aspect of our lives. You can put your faith and hope in many things, but you can only know true love in a relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus compares us to salt. If salt has lost its taste, it is nothing more than white rocks. We as Christians have the love of the Father and the Gospel as our “taste” – the essence of our being that gives us purpose.
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
– Matthew 5:13
We cannot be Christians without Christ. Our actions should be a loving response to the love God has shown us, but we can be motivated by many different factors: guilt, honor, glory, shame. We can even do good things for bad reasons. Good actions are worthless if they are not done in the name of love. Only love is sustaining, only love will precipitate a lifetime of selflessness. All other motivations will only lead us to act “good” until we are satisfied. Only love compels us to act until others are satisfied.
Michael is a servant of Jesus Christ and is currently an officer in the U.S. Air Force. He is a techy by trade, but a worshiper at heart. He founded Armed to Worship with his wife, Kimber, to equip the world for worship.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Air Force, Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.