Studying and meditating 1 Corinthians 13 may motivate to act more lovingly. Reading this chapter we usually think of Christian love as an ingredient or additive. Paul calls otherwise admirable activities worthless, if they are done without love.
My blog title is “Motivation of Christian Love”. To me this title also carries another idea. Could love ever be the governing principle of our Christian activities? What if love were the motive inspiring?
In 2 Corinthians 5:14 St. Paul speaks of the love of Christ as of a powerful stimulus: “For the love of Christ constraineth us…” (King James Version, 1611). Obviously in his meditation of the bible and the love of Christ Paul had come to a clear decision. His experience and his knowledge of the love of Christ were to be a determing factor in his life.
Paul could have opted following other motives. How to write in order to get as many readers as possible? How to be most pleasing or impressive to people? How best to promote his own personal interests? Yet instead he thought about how to be helpful to people. He wanted people to grow in the knowledge of Christ and in the benefits the Christian faith imparts.
Paul mentions the love of Christ as a motivating force in his live. It may help if we take a brief look at St. Paul’s life.
He grew up, was educated and trained in the religious law of the Jews. He had great zeal for these rules and regulations. He states about himself that he was blameless “touching the righteousness which is in the law.” (Philippians 3:6b).
Religion and obeying God were important stimuli of Paul’s life. Later, in Romans 13:10 he summarised: “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
The title of my blog is “Motivation of Christian love”. Why do we do what we do? What drives us?
Earlier in Christian teaching it has been emphasised, we should serve God with a pure heart. This led believers to evaluate their motives.
These days we can read a lot about motivation. People hope to be more successful after having carefully thought about their real intentions. They are looking for encouragement and any teaching that helps them excel in what they do.
In Christian counselling you may be asked about your motives too. Setting priorities could help avoid mental depression. You just save your strength for issues that are really important to you.
Focussing on Christian love may cause you and me to gain new strength. The thing is, as we lovingly deal with others, they will be more likely to value and appreciate our company.
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Corinthians 13:13). Paul says that charity (or love) will remain.
Actually I am looking forward to writing on Christian love. It may help me to grow in love. And I hope some readers will benefit too.