What The Highest and Richest Form of Love Really Is... 1 Corinthians 13:3-8 Part 1

by Matthew Robert Payne - Date: 2007-04-06 - Word Count: 3389 Share This!

It's the subject of many songs, it's the theme an opera might have, it's had wise men pondering and writing over and it's in the plotline of most popular novels and movies. Whether you have a Christian belief or not, I want you to take some time to read this as I take apart and explain the most profound definition I have ever seen of what love really is. It's a passage in the Holy Bible written by an ex teacher of Jews who was busy murdering Christians before Christ pushed him off a horse and blinded him and spoke to him out of a bright light and this man went on to write a third of the New Testament of the Bible.

The scripture reads

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.

3And 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.

Let me tell you when you read this definition of love and you really understand what it is saying it cuts you up as if you are honest and you are like me you fall way short of this standard in most relationships you have had in your life. Let me take a few minutes of your time, to use my own life and humble words to delve deeper into this passage. As many of you might not be churchgoers the Bibles words might be hard to understand.

Love suffers Long

When you love someone you will have a lot of patience with them. Watching a person drinking their way to death, watching a person you love in a bad lifestyle or doing bad things can make the person watching, you, the person who loves, suffer more then the person you love.

It is a statistic I read that over eighty percent of heroin users have been sexually molested as children and though many youth play around with the lighter and less harmful drugs, in eighty percent of times it's only the person who has been abused sexually as a young person that keeps searching higher and higher fro a drug to numb the pain they feel inside. As a very addictive drug, heroin after a few hits becomes an evil task master and has people have turn into criminals to support the habit they have.

Now the parent of a heroin user suffers for a very long time as they watch their son or daughter become a criminal, a drug dealer, or a prostitute to support the habit. As a parent they would do anything to help their child, but sometimes the loved one has to learn the hard way that even though the drug soothes them, they need to address the abuse and get healing for their emotional scars in order to kick the habit.

I had an addiction for twenty years and my parents suffered and worried and prayed for me for all of those years, hoping that one day God would wash all my inner pain away and now seven months free of my addiction there is joy in my parents eyes as they see my money going to support ventures I am doing and more productive things then being used in an addiction.

If you love someone you might run out of patience and simply not be able to live with them as you husband or wife anymore, but you will always be their friend and support them on the day they finally reach rock bottom and enter into a stage of therapy and healing. You might even pay for it.

and is Kind

It's funny my addiction was not to heroin but my addiction was to women who used heroin as their drug of choice. I was an abuser of sexually molested women, a client for twenty years of prostitutes that lived and worked in my cities wherever I lived at the time. I was wrong to use a prostitute and it was my way of coping and helping me feel less rejected in life, it was a wrong behaviour, but I found that I just loved the personalities of at least half of the girls that I met.

You see another statistic says that up to 91% of prostitutes were sexually abused as a child, and prostitution can be a high paying job for a good sort of worker and can easily fund and expensive drug habit with plenty to spare for nice clothes and rent.

But do you know what is one of the personality traits of a person who has been sexually molested in many instances?

They are so kind.

When you are abused you feel so bad and so rejected and so hurt that you will do anything to feel loved. As a person who has been hurt yourself you have a natural empathy toward other people who have suffered and if you can help a person, many times if it is within your means you do.

Kindness is such a wonderful trait in people and it's just once facet of love and the way you should be for you to be loving in relationships to people . If you are stingy and you're a taker and you don't like lending a hand or helping someone out in a squeeze, if you are not kind to a person you say you love, your love isn't the highest form of love, it's a selfish self centred thing you have.

But we all like to be kind to our partners, but today we are talking about love, so really love is giving that beggar on the street your spare coins in the change parts of your wallets or purses every time they ask. Just be kind, I promise you it will teach you another form of love.

love does not envy

The capitalistic system of free enterprise that the free world is driven by would not have half the sales it wanted if people were not driven to buy out of envy. People want to look better then other people, people want to be respected better then other people, people want to be noticed more then other people, people want to stand out and all sorts of advertisers write adds that promise all sorts of advantages, but the root appeal behind much of it is that we envy so much and we don't want to be second best, we want to be the best like another, or better then that other person.

It's a good and noble thing to want to look good, to perform better at your job, to advance toward your dreams, but is your motivation a person that has blazed a path before you twenty years before you and motivated you with their story or is your motivation that other person in your firm that looks like he has made it with all the things you see that he owns and does.

Real love is not envious. Real love is being able to accept another person's success and not be jealous but happy for them. Yeah so what apparently some actresses got a role in a feature film by sleeping with the producer, but the actress doesn't continue to get dream roles if she can't act that well, well at least not good dramatic roles at least. Don't worry what people did or have done to get where you want to be, don't be envious of someone you know doing better, love them, be happy with them and do things out of the right motivation.

Lots of relationships break down simply because a person becomes jealous of their friend or lover. This isn't love, well it's not the type of love Paul was talking about here. And remember this guy was once a murderer and it would have taken many years for him to forgive himself for killing innocent Christians.

love does not parade itself

Someone that loves does not have to be the most popular person at the ball, even if they are the most popular in the room, true love will put a lesser person on the microphone to speak on something close to their heart. If we love someone we don't have to show off and always be the most important and demand that people that love us respect us for who we think we are, a person that loves their friends will simply be humble and willing not to be seen as important even if they really are.

Let me give you an example.

When I was twelve, my pastor in a Baptist church told me that in my future he could see me leaving my local town in a plane, and the whole church of loved people that he knows down at the airport seeing me off. I would be off to preach to people that wanted me to come and preach to them.

It's been twenty eight years since he said that, and though I have preached twice in a church, that vision of my future of me at an airport still has not come true. A year ago in a church that I left in sadness, I was walking around telling people that attend it every week that the sermons put me to sleep and only about four sermons in two years had taught me anything about the Bible. I was parading myself, wanting the attention, pulling down the reputation of three pastors with more experience and more training then me and I was telling people I was better yet they had never heard me preach.

This was not loving the people I was talking to, it was me frustrated in my position, not being given the opportunity to preach in my own church and angry at the pastors and God for allowing such stupidity. And yet tonight I am preaching to you and using myself as an example of bad behaviour. Even if you are the best, even if you are better, be patient let the people you love have a rest and do what is needed to prove who you say you are in time.

is not puffed up

Certain birds I don't know what they are called puff all their feathers out in a courting ritual and these colourful birds really look amazing when they do it. When a man wants to fight another man often both men flex their chests as a way of warning the other man that they are strong and if you don't shut your mouth right now I am going to hit you. This is a form of puffing oneself up.

You see a little child with a medal getting put on his chest stick his chest out to display his medal and he is really happy and really proud in his award. This is innocence and natural, but when you are an adult puffing your chest out in pride saying look at how good I am, this often is not love but the opposite.

Often people with low self esteems are the most proud. Always trying to tell you how good they are, the first to say such and such is no good, I am so much better then them, but such and such has the job that they really envy and want.

Real love doesn't speak to their loved ones about how good they are. Real love has some patience, stops talking, puts their head down, prays and work until they are not talking about it but are on that stage winning an award for the best advertisement in their category by the industry professionals. And the loving person on that day, if they have conquered their low self worth issues, don't speak much about themselves but say that if my wife had not supported me these fifteen past years I would never have been here.

Don't boast and don't go around puffing you chest out wanting everybody to agree with you. If you love people, accept the hand you have been dealt in your poker hand of life and become a good player of the game of life until you really are winning and people are complimenting you and inviting you to come and help them in your area of expertise.

does not behave rudely.

I think one of the hardest jobs in the world where you would meet a lot of people acting rudely would be a waiter or waitress. My hands have a permanent tremor so that most times I can only carry one glass of drink in my right hand and with my left hand covering it and steadying it. So I could never be a waiter but often wished I could be as I love people and you could travel easy with that skill.

People can be so rude to these staff. I have often seen these humble people in tears as I have washed dishes in restaurants. I hate washing dishes but I am so underqualified for so many jobs that I did it for a long while for work. I thought I had the worst job in the place until I saw the waiters explode in anger as they get into the kitchen in frustration of how customers are treating them.

Have you ever been curt with your manner with waiting staff?

You have been rude and unloving!

Yeah most people think they are pretty kind and generally nice people, and yet I watch a homeless person I know ask every third person if they can spare any spare change for them for one whole hour, and I watch the looks they get of the people they ask, I hear the tone of voice of the people they ask, and I hear most of the people that pass lie to them by saying no. Come on folks. I only have fifty dollars for food for the next eight days and I gave a bloke five dollars today who was searching though a bin for a drink that a person might have put in their half drunk.

If you really love a person and you are having a bad day, you might take a big breath and explain that you can't talk at the moment, but to snap at them is not love, it's being rude.

does not seek its own

When you love people or one person, you consider those people or person BEFORE yourself. When you want a relationship to really work, you find out what your partner wants out of life and you do everything you can to assist and coach them into that purpose and dream they have.

We live in such a look out for number one sort of world. People are so selfish. Oh yeah I could have an extra five dollars tonight, but I have been homeless and I have wanted something more then free tea and coffee twice a day and man I would wish someone would just buy me an ice cold coke. Today my compassion for this guy just took me past my worry of how I am going to eat these eight days and motivated me to make this guy have a treat of a brand new drink out of a fridge and about $2.00 change for something else.

It's funny. I don't get paid to write these articles. Sixty six are in a book now that you can find on my extended author bio page, but I don't need to sell a book, I write these to let you in on what love is and let you begin a search into something more real in your life. 38,000 people have read my articles in six months since I have been writing and only 11 comments have been written back to me and about five emails. Two of the people that emailed me suffer my mental illness Bipolar and had read each over fifty of my articles. This tells me that some people are loving what I do and I love what I am doing, so who cares about something like selling books or making money.

People who have skills and who focus on wanting to help others, even if they have no faith seem to attract the funding and the ability to help those in needs. People who don't seek their own really are the happiest people in the world because it really is more blessed to give rather then receive.

Have a how I can help others with my money and skills attitude to life and you would have found a better way to love.

is not provoked

Today a person provoked me and in what was supposed to be a Bible study tried to say what I was saying was wrong and use scripture to say it. I was lacking sleep and tired and instead of letting it pass, I tried to show him though other verses that though he thinks he is right he is only partially right and there is a lot more to what he was talking about in that one verse in another twenty I could quote on the subject. Though he was right, partially right he used verses that were cutting and insulting to me and I got angry.

This is not love.

Love backs down and says, "I can see what you are saying mate, perhaps at another time with more time and alone we could look at this deeper and take a good look at it, but today and now is not the place."

Or simply

You're right, sorry, let's go on.

But I failed today and was provoked into anger.

So look at me writing all of this. Though I know it I am still failing.

love thinks no evil;

You can run wild thinking what a bad guy I must be. And yes I have been bad and I still have emotional issues and bad stuff in my life, but one thing you can be sure about is that I am honest enough to use my own faults and failures to teach something.

People like to assume because their best friend left the pub with another guy for twenty minutes and comes back smiling and the male comes back and drinks a beer with a bit of colour in his cheeks that they just went and had sex in a park. Of course for a single girl that is into public sex with a handsome young stud this might not thinking evil of her friend, this might be just liberated fun.

But when the girlfriends husband has been sitting with her happily chatting away with her while his wanton wife is in the park having sex with a stranger, the loving friend is not hoping the wife is having sex, she is hoping the wife and her male friend has just gone to get some fresh air and have a chat.

I can't blame the guy really. My wife had a great figure and he had absolutely no idea that she was even married much less knew that I was the husband that shouted him a round once.

When the sick world wants to think the worst of two people going home in a taxi

together and all the lurid details of a one night stand, a person who loves their moral friend isn't thinking she will fall into bed with the stranger, but they might sit up all night and chat till breakfast alone.

People love gossip. I love to walk away when people are talking like that. I don't want to think bad of anyone I love much less hear what they did wrong. Love is like that.

I hope this has given you some insight. Look out for part 2 in the coming days, right now I am off to bed.

Happy Easter


The ultimate act of love was for an innocent guy to be wipped forty lashes and hang on a cross and die for a people who simply didn not undertand Him or his message. You can thank the Apostle Paul,one of his followers who met him in a vision for his scripture referance and undertanding of all thinks Godly to come up with such a great defination of love

As you eat your Easter eggs this sunday share one with those two, Jesus and Paul.

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Matthew shares his heart in these articles and can be found at http://www.online-prayer.net You can read more of his articles at his link below.

If you want a copy of his upcoming book of articles which will have the first sixty of the articles on this web-site called "The Musings of a Mad Prophet" please contact Matthew via email so he can contact you around February 2007 to tell you of the progress of the book.

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