1 Corinthians 13 ►
New Living Translation
Love Is the Greatest
1If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;a but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
… 13Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
And now, the contrast:
tough love:promotion of a person’s welfare, especially that of an addict, child, or criminal, by enforcing certain constraints on them, or requiring them to take responsibility.
enabler:a person or thing that makes something possible.
•a person who encourages or enables negative or self-destructive behavior in another.
1:feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.
synonyms: compassion, caring, concern, solicitude, empathy; More
commiseration, pity, condolence, comfort, solace, support, encouragement;
2. understanding between people; common feeling.
synonyms: rapport, fellow feeling, affinity, empathy, harmony, accord, compatibility
Both tough love and not becoming an enabler can be helpful under certain circumstances. However, neither one is appropriate toward one person.
A blood relative will not help their family member financially, even though they have the means. Their reasons/excuses:
1:”I would be an enabler.” This might be true if the person were losing money down the drain due to addictions such as alcoholism or gambling. However, the main reason the person’s funds disappear quickly is due to their constant attempt to keep up with medical bills. Most families help a family member who is experiencing chronic medical conditions over the years. I don’t know how many times social workers and medical staff ask this person “Where is your family? Why aren’t they helping you?” I tell them that God only knows. And He does. He knows when someone needs help and isn’t getting it from the ones who could be helping. So the person is left to flounder. This is not love.
2:”I’m practicing tough love. I do not have any sympathy for you.” If the person were a teenager, if they were a drug or alcohol or gambling addict, there might be a little something to it. However, once again, I relay the message that their financial difficulties have been, over the years, due to horrendous medical bills that do not quit. Probably the bills will not quit until they do. And what is this about having no sympathy? The person said that, for real! I think they are confused between sympathy and pity. Certainly, pity would be inappropriate. However, sympathy has many better descriptions, as seen above. Sympathy and empathy are part of love, as far as I know. So this person is left to flounder. This, too, is not love.
Interestingly, at this writing, my phone just rang, and someone in the medical field wants payment and they want it today.
So I can relate directly.
In contrast:synchronizing with the Bible verses above:Imagine my total, complete surprise four years ago when Jesus led me from a nonBiblical situation, led me to a physical cure and the surgery to correct it, led me to a Bible-based church and loving, kind people, and to a living situation where people were genuinely glad to have me back. This is what love is.
I thought that since it is Valentine’s Day, and about love, I would point out what love is and what it is not, in my experience.
Happy Valentine’s Day!