But I feel like we're asking too many questions. We're overlooking the bigger question, the one that comes before the test. So let me restate this:
Of all the things we think, say, or do: Are we doing it with love? That's the question. Are we seeking the truth for the betterment of society or for our own personal gain? Is it fair to everyone, to every person concerned, or just the ones we're thinking about? Can it build goodwill and better friendships, but also, can it sustain those relationships? Is it truly beneficial to everyone, or are we excluding those that society has told us don't matter? Are we doing it with love?
1 Corinthians 13 paraphrased in the language of “The Message” translation says:
"If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, 'Jump,' and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, isn't always 'me first,' doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, doesn't revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love." (1 Corinthians 13:1-10, 13 MSG)