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 wrong doing, but rejoices at the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I Corinthians 13:4-7
Love. Think about how often you may hear this word as you go through your week. We hear it sung about on the radio, talked about on television, and written about in books. Love is everywhere yet is nowhere because most don’t understand what love is. We are awash in a fog of delusion that says love is an emotion that you can jump in and out of like a hammock. If it tips you over, oh well, on to the next hammock for a swing.
Yet in these verses and chapter of I Corinthians we have a concrete description that we can put our feet under. Paul shows us what love is and what it is not. What it produces and what it does not. This passage serves as a kind of measuring stick for me to lay my life against. Am I showing patience mixed with kindness? Patience without kindness is not love. Am I bearing the weight of trials while hoping in the promises of God? Am I believing in all that Christ is for me while enduring what he has laid before me? Am I rejoicing in the truth? Am I not being irritable or resentful?
Love is not a passive emotion that sweeps over us when our hearts are stirred by something delightful. Love is an active quality that is greater than faith and hope and it is that which moves us to joyfully make much of God. We have a description before us of what love is and we have a story in the gospel of what love looks like. Love looks likes and is perfectly displayed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was patient and kind. He was not irritable or rude. He rejoiced in the truth. He is the truth!
I can think of ways I displayed love this past week and ways I failed in it. Take inventory of your week and ask yourself that. How did you do? At the dinner table this week our family prayed that God would continually give us opportunities to show I Corinthians like love to those around us.
Rejoice and thank God for the victories and repent and ask for the Holy Spirit’s help in your failures. It was Jesus who loved perfectly and and showed the apex of that love at the cross.