love and conflict

May 2016 (11)

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

1Co 13:4 The love I am speaking of holds its temper, that love functions in a helpful manner, it does not envy, does not brag, does not show off,
1Co 13:5 does not behave disgracefully, does not seek it’s own way, is not provoked, and does not keep score when it is wronged,
1Co 13:6 nor does it celebrate when something unfair happens, but it joins the celebration when the truth prevails.
1Co 13:7 It puts up with all kinds of things, believes all kinds of things, hopes all kinds of things, endures all kinds of things.

love and conflict

Two things struck me as I was translating this text. I was interested to find so many translations which use nouns, when every one of these descriptions of love is a verb. Paul wanted to show what love does, not just what it is. So, I took care to express each of the Greek verbs with a corresponding English verb.

The other thing that struck me is how appropriate these descriptive terms are in describing social and political (and ecclesiastical) conflict. It is clear that Paul is still addressing the major issue of rivalries and schisms in the Corinthian churches here. He is showing them a new way of working things out together instead of their way of picking sides and bashing their enemies.

LORD, show us how to love, and stop conflict in its tracks.


About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is a former Christian missionary who now lives in Williamsburg, Virginia. If your church or small group would like to hear Jeff speak, you can contact him at -- !
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