The finest essay of love would have to be I Corinthians 13. It states love, “does not envy, it does not boast, it’s not proud.” (I Cor.13:4) J.B. Phillips translates it, “Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage.” Ruel Howe observes, “Persons are to be love; things are to be used.” Today, frequently the reverse is practiced; we love things and use people.
Loving things is idolatry. It does not matter whether it is a carved image or the adoration of houses, lands, autos, boats, stocks or clothes. Things are to be used and never to be objects of our devotion and affection.
Examples are numerous. The sins of the business world often revolve around having a friend who will put a good word in for me or does this friend have a cabin or boat I could borrow and use. Some play golf or join a country club to exploit friendship. Even some go to a certain church because it would be good for business. Even sexual exploitation can be only to satisfy sexual desire. We dare not reverse by loving things and using people.
Someone has said, “God made things for man to use and persons to enjoy.” But man has reversed his intentions. Love needs to be put into practice. Several years ago, Charles Calso had to do prison time for his part in Watergate. He tells about Al Quie who was the sixth ranking Republican in the House who cam,e to see him in prison. In the midst of their conversation Al said, “Chuck because of your family problems, I am going to ask the President if you can go home while I serve the rest of your prison term.”
What an example of love whose love his brother superseded all else. Love wins!
Linn is a minister at Pleasant Grove Church of Christ