Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does
not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps
no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but
rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
(I Corinthians 13:4-8a)
The Bible says a lot about love. The Bible defines God as love in I John 4:8 – "Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." Note, this verse does not say that God loves, it says that God IS love.
We are also told how much we are loved in John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
The Bible tells us about God’s love, but it also tells us that we are to love others. That is not always easy. It is not easy to love someone who is unlovable or someone who is acting in a selfish and unloving way. Love is hard. But we are commanded to love.
I Corinthians 16:14 says – "Let all that you do be done in love." We are not commanded to do somethings in love, we are commanded to do ALL things in love!
I Peter 4:8 tells us – "Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins." Love is that thing that can heal a broken marriage. Love can bring a wayward child home. Love covers a multitude of sins.
I Corinthians 13:13 tells us just how important love is – "So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
Let me bring this into the reality of Facebook and social media. When someone visits the page, someone who doesn’t know the Lord, what is your first reaction? Is your first reaction to call this person an idiot? Is your first reaction to tell them to get lost and get off the site? Or is your first reaction one of love and compassion for this lost soul?
Could someone see the love of Christ in our words, or do they see someone who is short tempered and angry?
And when you see someone doing something wrong, what is your reaction? Do you tell yourself that God is truth, so we must give them the truth, no matter how much it hurts?
I Corinthians says we can speak with the tongue of an angel but don’t have love you just sound like a clanging cymbal. Think about that, how does a cymbal sound? It is loud and clamorous. How much could someone hear if you were speaking through the sound of a constant clanging cymbal? Truth is important, but it is just mean if it is not done in love.
If you are the smartest person in the world and know more about the Bible than anyone around you but you don’t relay that knowledge in love, that knowledge isn’t worth ANYTHING!
I Corinthians 13 also tells us what real love looks like. Real love is patient and it is kind. Real love doesn’t call someone an idiot. Real love isn’t short tempered. Real love understands that hurt people hurt people and that we shouldn’t expect someone who doesn’t know God to know the same love we do.
Love is not envious, boastful or full of pride. Love emits humility and caring about others more than you care about yourself. Love isn’t easily angered and those who understand what love is don’t hold grudges.
There will come a time when prophesy will cease. Speaking in tongues will cease, but love will last forever. Love will follow us and abound in our heavenly home.
I know I am not always as loving as I should be. I know that at times I snap at the ones I love the most. It is hard to love the irritating person at work and sometimes I don’t do a good job with loving. But I have a God who IS love and since He lives within me, I must also be love, so I am going to work on this and I hope you will join me.
Anger will never lead someone to Christ. Truth without love will never lead anyone to Christ. Being hostile with a non-believer will never give them the desire to know the Lord we profess.
If you are a loving person, who consistently shows the love of our Savior, blessings to you. But if you are a person who struggles with anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, or grudges, tonight might be the night to confess that to the Lord and start walking down a new path.
The world says, “me before you.” Love says, “you before me.”
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (I Corinthians 13:4-8a)
Copyright 2018 by Marlys Popma
Used with permission.