Since the end of May, brought on by the unnecessary death of George Floyd, tensions have risen within cities across the United States. This civil unrest began with organized protests. Yet, when police departments across the country became the target of pent up anger, frustration and resentment, love has disappeared from many communities. This void was replaced by a spirit of revenge which has spawned a defund the police movement.
Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. 5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. 7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening], 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
Apparently, the city of Corinth had a similar problem during the first century. This port city in modern day Greece talked a good game, but when it came to actually demonstrating love, this was another story. Upon hearing about their hypocrisy, the apostle Paul devotes an entire chapter to love. While the Corinthian Church was comprised of gifted and talented individuals, love was absent. Thus, Paul felt a lesson on love was absolutely necessary to convict hearts void of love.
Be alert and on your guard; stand firm in your faith (your conviction respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, keeping the trust and holy fervor born of faith and a part of it). Act like men and be courageous; grow in strength! 14 Let everything you do be done in love (true love to God and man as inspired by God’s love for us), 1 Corinthians 16:13-14.
At the end of this letter, the apostle Paul revisits love. Perhaps, Paul noticed that same thing I’ve seen with my own eyes, love fading from local communities. Abandoned buildings, closed churches and once proud citizens have lost hope, wondering if their town will ever be the same. The only way to reverse this trend is through acts of random kindness inspired by the Holy Spirit. If you want to possess a glimmer of hope within your heart, turn your faith into action by starting with loving your neighbors.
by Jay Mankus