FRIENDS MAKE US WORK. Usually a good thing.
I got an email yesterday from a longtime friend of mine who knows that I sometimes paraphrase the Bible as a technique I’m trying out to study the Bible. She asked if I had paraphrased the famous Love Chapter: 1 Corinthians 13. She was working on an Advent devotional about love, and she was curious to see how I had paraphrased the love song written by Paul.
I had not yet gotten around to paraphrasing that chapter.
Nor had I gotten around to writing the blog post for today. So I decided to kill two birds with one blog.
I’m not sure my friend will be able to use any of my paraphrase in her Advent devotional. But the paraphrasing is always a fun challenge for me.
Here’s my first draft. See what you think.
The bachelor’s love song
1. So what if I speak with the eloquence of a master orator, the swaggering charisma of a rock star, and the authority of an archangel sent from God. If I don’t love others, I’m just an irritating squeak in the dashboard of an old Buick.
2. So what if I can tell the future, and I know everything about anything, and I can tell a mountain how high to jump. If I don’t love people, what good am I?
3. Big deal if I give away all my money or shed some blood for Jesus’ sake. If I don’t love others, for heaven’s sake, I’m just iron deficient and cash poor.
4. In case you don’t know what love looks like, it looks like patience and kindness. It doesn’t look a thing like jealousy. Or bragging. And it’s not snooty with pride.
5. It’s not rude, either. It’s certainly not a control freak. It doesn’t rub you raw with constant irritation. And it doesn’t keep a write-protected file on everything you’ve ever done wrong.
6. Love doesn’t yell Hallelujah when the bad guys win; love hates lies. Love gets excited at a happy ending; love needs the truth.
7. Love has a strong back and a big heart. It’ll carry you. It’ll believe in you. It’ll put all its trust in you. It’ll take on the world for you.
8. Love will never quit on you. Prophets will; they’ll run out of prophecies. Speakers will; they’ll run out of words. Knowledge will; it’ll run out of people.
9. We don’t see the big picture yet.
10. Someday we will.
11. Until then, remember this. When we were kids, we sounded like kids. That’s because we had the brains of a kid. We’re grown up now. And we sound like it.
12. But don’t get a swelled head. We still don’t see the big picture. It’s not in focus yet. It’ll get there.
13. For right now, hang on tight to the best things in your life. Your faith. Your hopes. Your love. These are the best. And the best of the best is love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Steve’s Bible Translation