“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
For three months now, we’ve been telling you to love others–love the orphans & widows, love our neighbors, & love the Lord. Love can be a pretty broad term. Thirteen year olds use the word love when describing the feelings they have for their new boyfriend, we use it to talk about our new favorite food, and we like to talk about how much we love our new pair of shoes. Are those things love, though? Probably not in the sense that 1 Corinthians 13 means it. But when we’re talking about the love we need to share with others, we have to be basing it off of the love that was described to us in this chapter. We have to recognize that the Gospel is the perfect display of love and our source is Jesus. Because of that, & because I love practicality, I want to pull apart this verse and apply it to the love we have to show those around us–specifically widows and orphans.
- Love is patient: Love waits on the Lord and trusts that He will reveal the perfect ministry for you. Love understands that taking care of the lonely and brokenhearted takes time & understanding, realizing that not everyone is ready to experience joy yet. Love is grieving with those who grieve.
- Love is kind: Love is being nice even when the people you are ministering to aren’t kind back. It’s being generous with your time and considerate of the people you are investing in.
- Love doesn’t envy: Love doesn’t look at the other people around you who are ministering to others and wishing you had something that they do. It’s being content in the calling the Lord has put on your life.
- Love doesn’t boast: Love isn’t loud or prideful, but rather it does things gently and humbly. Love realizes that the Lord is the one who should receive the glory, not us.
- Love isn’t arrogant: Love doesn’t let you think more highly of yourself than others. Love makes you realize that others have to be first, and that we have to be second.
- Love doesn’t insist on its own way: Love keeps you humble and flexible. It gives you listening ears and an open heart. It helps you realize that you don’t always know what’s best.
- Love is not irritable: Love maintains a patient heart even when things go the furthest from what you planned. It allows you to keep an attitude that is kind and meek.
- Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing: Love knows that sin is present in the world, but living in that is not what the Lord has intended. It longs to see goodness and truth.
- Love bears all things: Love knows that burden and hardship comes with loving the brokenhearted, but it holds on knowing that the Lord is faithful.
- Love believes all things: Love wants the very best.
- Loves hopes all things: Love expects the best.
- Love endures all things: Love is faithful to the end.
Love Never Fails.
This verse gives us a checklist to go through and test how we love. 1 Corinthians 16:14 tells us to do everything in love. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 says that our love must increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else. Do you notice a trend? Do you realize that love must be at the center of all that we do? The beginning of 1 Corinthians 13 says that we can do seemingly great things, but if we don’t have love we are just a noisy distraction. My hope and prayer for you is that you can discover what love is at its root, and for you to understand that love has to come from a deep knowledge and reverence for the Gospel.
Today, choose to love deeply.