Love Is Verb-Filled

Image Description: Pages from a book are folded to make the shape of a heart. A string of lights shines in the background.

For many people, 1 Corinthians 13 is a very familiar text. Some of us grew up hearing these words in church communities. Many others have heard these words at weddings.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, New Revised Standard Version)

These descriptors get translated as adjectives, but interestingly enough, in the original Greek language, these descriptor-words all have verb roots. We describe love by enacting love.

Here’s a verb-friendly translation of this text.

Love lives long-hearted in adversity. Love practices kindness. Love envies not. Love boasts not. Love swells-up not. Love does not act unbecomingly, does not seek the self, does not provoke to anger, does not calculate evil, does not rejoice upon the injustice, but rejoices together with the truth. It covers all things, entrusts all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never perishes.

Renee Roederer

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