The 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians is justly famous. It is a brilliant and poetic exposition of the meaning of true love, biblical love, Christ-like love. You have undoubtedly heard it read and applied at a Christian wedding ceremony.
The great risk to a quick reading of this legendary passage, however, is that it states philosophic abstractions that you can cheerfully agree with but that have no impact on your life whatsoever. For example, “Love is . . . not proud” (1 Corinthians 13:4). You would concur—“It sure isn’t.” But here’s the point of St. Paul’s powerful essay—is it true of you? That you are not proud? Do the people around you see evidence of vanity and arrogance in your life?
Pride is a deadly sin. It seduces us into thinking that we are better than others, that we are worthy of God’s favor, that we deserve a ticket to heaven. Pride feeds our egos, stoking an interest only in what revolves around us. It is impossible for people with pride sickness to assume the attitude and posture of a servant, the posture that Christ adopted and that he invites us to share.
Repeat after me: “I am a foolish sinner who would be sunk without my Savior’s mercy. Forgive me, Jesus, for my proud words and actions. It is better to serve than be served. How can I make someone else feel important today?”