“But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”
Love is the eighth, final, and ultimate grace of the Christian life.
“But above all these things”
God’s priority for us is to “put on love.” Besides the other seven virtues listed in verses 12 and 13, the last and highest virtue is to put on love. “Love” is the garment that is to be “above all.” “Above all” means overall. Love is the most important characteristic quality for a Christian. Let this be the mark of distinction for the believer. Love is the final garment the believer is to put on, for it binds all other characteristics together.
“put on love”
The translators supply the words “put on” from the previous verse. By not including “put on” in this verse, Paul places emphasis on the word “love.” Literally, it reads, “And above all these things, love.” Love is the priority of all the graces in this list. Love ties all other virtues together and is, therefore, the most important grace (1 Cor 13:13).
Love is the outstanding mark of the Christian (John 13:34,35).
If we do not love one another, no one will know that we belong to Jesus. An outstanding shortcoming of the saints is lack of love. Do you have a lack of love for fellow Christians? Why are you so critical of others?
God does not ask us to agree with every other Christian, but he does ask us to love them. We must learn to disagree lovingly. We can disagree without becoming disagreeable. If we differ without love, then we launch ourselves out of the will of God. The price is too high. God will not use us.
Is love the priority grace of your life?