What Is Love?

What if we overlook faults, respond with gentleness, rejoice when those around us receive good news, set our comforts aside to pursue their good?

I recently attended a wedding, and like most weddings, 1 Corinthians 13 or the “Love Chapter” was the main text for the sermonette. It was nice, well communicated, empowering for the newlyweds that the way they love one another should reflect what is commanded throughout the chapter: patient, kind, not envious, humble, selfless, so on and so forth, and as wonderful that was, 1 Corinthians 13 isn’t just for weddings.

When I begin to think of the way the world loves in 2020, it’s one built on an emotional response, self-loving, a feeling that must be obeyed, a “follow your heart” kind of love that is conditional and full of empty promises.

As Christian people, we should have a strong understanding of love. Why? Because our God is love (1 John 4:8), we have the ability to love because he loved us first (1 John 4:19). He is the source of our love, and our understanding of love should be rooted in the love that the Father lavished upon us. And He gave us the greatest example of love when Christ laid his life down in exchange for ours (John 15:13).

It is a patient love that responds with the same meekness and humility that Christ had.
It’s a kind love that doesn’t expect anything in return, but one that treats all people equally.
It’s a love that isn’t envious but celebrates the good God is doing in the lives of those around you, rather than desiring their good for yourself.
It’s a love that isn’t selfish but instead seeks the good of those around them and God’s glory.

That is the kind of love we must consider to live out – in our workplaces, in our homes, in our random interactions throughout our day, and even (dare I say), our social media pages. What if we overlook faults, respond with gentleness, rejoice when those around us receive good news, set our comforts aside to pursue their good? Would they see Christ’s love in us? Would it help in their understanding of how God loves them?

If we lived out 1 Corinthians 13, maybe those around us would begin to see through the haze of confusion when it comes to love and embrace the true love found in Christ.

May this be our prayer as we desire those to come to know Christ by the way we love those around us

God, I know I love because you first loved me. Father, may your Spirit help me mirror you in the way that I love those around me. Give me a love that is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, isn’t dishonoring, isn’t self-seeking, is slow to anger, keeps no record of wrongs, a love that does not delight in evil, but celebrates truth, a love that protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. May your love fill my life so others may know you. Amen.

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