1 Corinthians 16:14 Do everything in love.
This verse today is particularly interesting because of something we will get to in a moment. It instructs us to do everything in love. Think about that. What is excluded from everything? And how do we do everything in love? What exactly does it mean?
But something else struck me about this verse. Do we men have a tendency to view a statement like this as being more feminine? Is it more “manly” to talk about the armor of God – shield and sword and breastplate? Think of Mel Gibson as William Wallace in Brave Heart when he was riding back and forth challenging the men to fight. “I am William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny. You’ve come to fight as free men… and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight? “
Or how about Aragorn, who in Return of the King, challenges the men just before the last battle in front of the gates of Mordor? Aragorn begins by saying, “Hold your ground, hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.”
There’s no question that we have been strongly impacted by our culture. We’ve also been affected by a lack of understanding of what love really is. The interesting thing that I referred to about this verse, is it’s context – specifically, verse 13 in front of it. Today’s verse is the last item in a list of five specific commands given by Paul. Picture yourself in a group of believers being challenged with these five commands:
- Be on your guard
- Stand firm in the faith
- Be men of courage
- Be strong
- Do everything in love
Wallace and Aragorn were talking to men about to fight with swords and spears. We must recognize that we too are in a battle – a spiritual one – and that a primary weapon that we are to live with and fight with, is love.