Make no mistake friends, we are living in tumultuous times. Hate is spewed from every direction and intolerance is the new norm. What I’d like to take a moment to emphasize is that God has called us to love. We are to love despite our differences, or short-comings, and our fears. How does God say we can love more? We get a good understanding of how from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7.
Love is Patient and Kind
Love holds out and waits patiently. It isn’t abrupt or intrusive and it doesn’t demand it’s own way. Love stands the test of time in a kind and gentle manner. I always imagine the opposite of patience as one who taps their fingernails on the counter or looks at their watch with obvious annoyance. But impatience is so much more than that, it’s selfish and rude. Patience is shown best by quietly waiting for God to show up in situations and praying to stay gracious during the process.
Love Never Gives Up
How many times have I wanted to throw my hands up in the air and head for the hills when something irritates me? The answer is too many times to count. There have been countless occasions that I have wanted to give up on loving a person when they are hurting me. As much as I want to stop the pain and runaway, God’s word says, “No, don’t you give up. I didn’t give up on you so you can’t give up on others.” Okay God you have my attention. We stay in it and we love even when it is difficult
Love Never Loses Faith
Our love for the Lord should supersede everything else. Our faith in His way, His word, and His soveriegnty is to triumph over our fickle feelings and empty doubts. When He is the cornerstone of our faith, everything that threatens to topple us doesn’t stand a chance because our faith is set upon a sturdy foundation. We can rest assured that our Faith is perfected in His love for us. Then our love becomes unshakeable.
Love is Always Hopeful and Has No Fear
Sometimes situations can look pretty bleak and we can’t see a way out. Part of having faith in the Lord is knowing that there is always hope and that He will never forsake us. Even in sickness and death we have the eternal promise of salvation through Christ. The unknown is always scary but with God there doesn’t have to be fear. As a matter of fact…
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because He loved us first.”
1 John 4: 18-19
The rain falls on the righteous and the wicked and we are bound to go through troublesome times during our time on Earth. We can even bet on the fact that we will be persecuted for our faith. No matter what the circumstance, our love should endure…our love for God and our love for others. Let nothing threaten the unconditional love that God has for us.
Love is not Jealous
When someone celebrates victory or receives a blessing, are you genuinely happy for them or does your heart become jealous? Jealous because you think it should have been you? Jealous because you want that celebration for yourself? The root of selfish jealousy is not love. It might be the furthest thing from it. Check your heart and be happy for those who experience success.
Love is not Boastful or Proud
Then there are those who celebrate success and the victory goes straight to their heads. They may like to gloat about how great they are, how hard they have worked, or who they know, but true humility is giving the glory to God and exhibiting meekness. Sometimes you can experience so much success that you come to rely on your own abilities and it makes you proud. Too proud to admit you need help, and too proud to admit your shortcomings. It’s a dangerous place to get to because it can become a place of self-righteousness. The Lord wants us to humbly hold His hand. True success is knowing that all good things originate with our Lord.
Love Keeps No Record of Being Wronged
Have you ever started compiling a list of things that someone has done to hurt you? This list builds and builds until there is finally a blow-up and your list is the ammunition. I’m so guilty of this right here. Love keeps no list. Love actually wipes the slate clear and says let’s start over new. This actually requires us to love others past our own hurts and that is easier said than done. Love is selfless.
Love Doesn’t Demand it’s Own Way
There will be times when we disagree in a situation. Do we want God’s way or our own way to win out? Are we willing to bow out of the situation to give another person their way? Love is the willingness to set your own needs aside for the needs of others.
Love is Not Irritable
How we react to any given situation says so much about our heart. Are we short in our responses? Do we roll our eyes? I fall short Ladies, I confess…I get irritable far too often. Not only that but I wear my heart on my sleeve so when I’m irritated it’s apparent. Oh Lord help me overcome this. I want to be one who exudes joy instead of irritation.
Love is the Answer
Anyone else as thoroughly convicted as I am and ready to love more than ever before? If we are honest with ourselves we can all do better in each of these areas. Not only that but it should move right to the top of our to-do list. It should be included in every one of our prayers. Help me love more Jesus. Help me love others just like you love them. Let your love shine through me.
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13: 1-3
So there you have it and there is no way it can be avoided. Love abounds and breaks boundaries wide-open. Without it we are nothing and all we do is in vain unless we show love more. I ask you are you part of the problem or part of the solution? I leave you with this last verse…
“Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13: 13
Blessings to you,