The brothers Gibb and the holy book of the Christian faith both pose this question. But while, as far as I know, the hit song doesn’t really give me any criteria to judge how deep my love is (although I welcome input from Bee Gee-o-philes who may have memorised the lyrics and beg to differ), the Bible does.
In what must be one of the best-known Bible passages, the apostle Paul waxes lyrical about love in 1 Corinthians chapter 13. And as I read it today I was reminded of a common preachers’ device when teaching this part of Scripture: That is, to take Paul’s descriptions of love (that is, the love of God that we can experience and begin to give to others when we belong to Christ) and to personalise it. Confused? OK, here’s an example.
The Bible says:
Love is kind.
I’m challenged to say:
I am kind.
…then to assess how far it’s really true. For if I’ve really surrendered to Him and He’s changing me to be more and more like Him (something I have absolutely, positively, definitely no chance of doing by myself), then it ought to be true – at least a bit.
So, if I apply the same idea to the passage from verse 4 to verse 7, I get this:
I am patient, I am kind. I do not envy, I do not boast, I am not proud. I am not rude, I am not self-seeking, I am not easily angered, I keep no record of wrongs. I do not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. I always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere.
Hmmm. Maybe got a ways to go yet.
How deep is my love? Barry, Robin and Maurice – I salute you.
P.S. I am in no way casting aspersions on Bee Gee-o-philes who memorise song lyrics. As a self-confessed Status Quo-o-phile I could bore you endlessly with lyrics from the last 40 years…