I knew I was right.
But when I became more concerned with proving how right I was and how wrong she was than the health of our relationship, our heated conversation had crossed the line.
Eventually Jess conceded. I was right. But I was oh so wrong. I may have won the argument, but in that moment I lost the one thing most precious to me.
Nothing else can compare to the value of our relationship. No matter how many degrees I’d completed or how many followers I had on Instagram, what really mattered was that regardless of who was right or wrong, that Jess felt valued and respected as a woman created in the image of God.
Paul makes it clear that regardless of how spiritual you are or or how well informed your opinion, that what really matters is how we treat people:
‘If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing’ – 1 Corinthians 13:2-3
Do I think such a thing as ‘right and wrong’ still exists? Absolutely. No matter how hard you flap your wings and convince yourself the laws of physics don’t apply to your situation, gravity will quickly pull you back down to earth to remind you that no one is above the truth.
However Paul reminds us that even if we are right we can still lack the very thing we were created for. The value of life is found in the quality of relationships; even with those who have a different opinion to us. If I am right but have no love I am nothing.
Authentic love is not found in the labels we put on ourselves or the definitions society may place on us. Lasting love is never found in the value the world can give us, but in the value we give to others:
‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres’ (13:4-7)
Your value is never found in the quality of your opinion, but the quality of your love.
‘Love never fails’ (13:8)