Elton Trueblood continues to be an author of influence in my life. The words below are more than fifty years old, yet are timely to me today:
“A prominent philosopher of England has suggested the wisdom of using ‘caring’ as our best modem translation for the almost untranslatable Greek word, of which the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians is an inspired definition. The difficulty with “charity” as a translation is that, to modern ears, it means philanthropy and not much more. The trouble with ‘love’ is that it has been oversentimentalized in modern literature and smacks of softness. But caring is, as yet, an unspoiled term. It is the best we know. Thus we may begin: ‘Though I speak. with the tongues of men and of angels, and do not care, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.’ ‘Caring never ends.’ Try, in the intimacy of your own meditation, to restate that marvelous chapter, substituting ‘caring’ for the key word. The consequence may be that you have a new vision of the truth as you begin to understand what it means to have ‘the courage to care.’” (Elton Trueblood. “The Courage to Care.” The Yoke of Christ and Other Sermons. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958, p. 79.)
“Love” has ceased to mean a willing choice to act for another’s benefit. It more often means feelings of attraction towards another, or the pleasure I take in someone or something. It has become focused on my experience rather than on my behavior and way of relating to others.
- Are you experiencing God’s passionate concern and care for you?
- How is He inviting you to offer practical care and concern for another?