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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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The golden throne

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Once there was a primitive tribe of Indians in South America who lived in huts made of grass but whose chief owned a throne made of gold.


The chief died and a dispute arose over who would succeed him. The dispute was so bad it ended up splitting the tribe. Both of the new tribes claimed ownership of the throne and wars were fought over it.


One tribe succeeded in capturing the throne and the chief decided the best way to keep it would be to hide it so the other tribe couldn't find it. He had his men put the throne on top of his house and build a new roof over it.


The plan succeeded. The next day the other tribe raided the village to try to recover the throne and couldn't find it.


One problem was solved but another one was created. Since the throne was made of gold it was very heavy; the chief's house, being made of grass, was weak. The following night the roof collapsed. The chief was sleeping directly beneath the throne and it fell on him and killed him.


This story teaches us a very important lesson: people who live in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones.

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