On the way home I was thinking that I was thankful that we didn’t get into 1 Cor. 14:1. That one little phrase, “pursue love,” has gripped me. First, “pursue” comes from diōkō, which in some contexts means “to persecute.” It is to follow hard after something. As Roscoe P. Coltrane used to say, “I’m in hot pursuit.”
There is nothing easy about love, the love the Bible commands. It is something that must be conscientiously pursued, it requires effort. This kind of love doesn’t come without pursuit, without effort. Why? Because we are proud and selfish. We are all prone to wanting our own way. Everything we are by nature fights against Biblical love. So when we are in conflict, we need to ask that all important question, what is the source of this conflict? (see James 4:1-3). When we are in conflict, we need to ask, where is the love? What am I really pursuing here?
So here is how I meditated on “pursue love.” I hope it helps you. It is simple, taking the command of 14:1 and applying to 13:4-7.
- Pursue patience.
- Pursue kindness.
- Pursue understanding and tolerance.
- Pursue self-minimization.
- Pursue humility.
- Pursue that which is fitting.
- Pursue the good of others above yourself.
- Pursue self-control and self-restraint.
- Pursue forgiveness.
- Pursue joy in doing right.
- Pursue joy in the truth.
- Pursue suffering well.
- Pursue believing the best about others.
- Pursue enduring difficulties.
Perhaps we will pursue this line of meditation more in the future. For now, read slowly again through the list. Run your conflicts through this grid of pursuing love and see where you need to confess your sin, turn from it, make things right with others, and get in “hot pursuit” of the characteristics of love.