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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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LeapOfFaith89

Out In The Cold

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In Desperation, a woman called the housing assistance center where I worked. A heating problem had turned her rental home into a freezer with furniture. Panicked, she asked me how she would care for her children. I hurriedly replied with the scripted official response: "Just move into a hotel and send the landlord the bill." She angrily hung up on me.

 

I knew the textbook answer to her question, but I had completely missed her heart. She wanted someone to understand her fear and desperation. She needed to know she wasn't alone. In essence, I had left her out in the cold.

 

After job had lost everything, he had friends wit answers but little understanding. Zophar told him all he needed to do was live wholeheartedly for God. Then "life will be brighter than noonday," he said (Job 11:17). That counsel wasn't well received, and Job responded with scathing sarcasm; "Wisdom will die with you!" (Job 12:2). He knew the dissatisfying taste of textbook answers to real-world problems.

 

It's easy to be critical of Job's friends fro their failure to see the big picture. But how often are we too quick with answers to questions we don't truly understand? People do want answers. But more than that,they want to know we hear and understand. They want to know we care.

-Tim Gustafson

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