The greatest love comes at the greatest cost. Ajith Fernando would know. He grew up and ministered in Sri Lanka, and has not only studied 1 Corinthians 13 in depth, but has counseled with it, discipled with it, and lived it for at least 50 years. In 19 chapters, he dissects the verses in 1 Corinthians 13 touching on topics of patience, kindness, envy, honor, boasting, arrogance, sensitivity, anger, truth, bitterness, forgiveness, judgment, perseverance, and grace. He holds the reader captive with illustrations and practical explanations and remains faithful to the whole counsel of Scripture.
The journey from the head to the heart can be long and complex, so we must repeatedly open ourselves up to the healing work of the Holy Spirit. Ajith Fernando shows how we must learn to find a way to handle the weaknesses of others and then get on with the business of loving and enjoying them. He reminds us that attempts to show kindness to others do not render us immune from misunderstanding and pain, yet he provides a list of things we can practice to exercise caution.
Ajith Fernando says there is great value in a life devoted to love, even though it is costly. Those who live in love experience joy, and joy, like love, comes from God and not from within a person. We may be inconvenience or we must act against our natural instincts to follow a loving path. Love might not be reciprocated, but the suffering of rejection deepens our love relationship with Christ. He tells us why it’s worth it.
This book is not fluffy and frivolous, nor is it too academic or difficult. Ajith Fernando strikes a perfect balance in between, and he inspires while being thought-provoking. But Zondervan sure could have found a larger font that would have been easier on these over-40 eyes! I would recommend this book for every Christian who wants to know what it really means to love one another and what that looks like, and I would recommend a magnifying glass or special reading glasses for those who have difficulty reading tiny print.