Love ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
July 22, 2014 at 4:13pm"Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends..."
~1 Corinthians 13:4-8
1 Corinthians 13 is commonly referred to as the "Love" chapter of the Bible. Love is described in it's fullness and by what it does. Love is more than a word describing feelings for someone special or for others, it is an action. It does something. I causes something. It is willing to sacrifice for others, die for others, care for others needs, and it carries with it a full range of emotions, both negative and positive.
Love is patient...willing to wait. Willing to endure whatever it takes. Remember the story of Jacob and Rachel in Genesis 29? Jacob fell in love with Rachel. In order to have her as his bride he made a deal with her father. He would work for him for seven years in exchange for Rachel to be his bride and when his hard work was completed, the wedding took place and Jacob, unable to see his bride's face behind her veil, married her and took her as his wife. The next morning he realized he'd been deceived. His father-in-law had given Jacob Leah, his oldest daughter, and not the promised Rachel. Jacob then struck another deal with Rachel's father, he would work ANOTHER seven years for her and when the work was completed, he was given Rachel as his wife. His love for her was so deep he worked for 14 hard years for her. His love included committment, sacrifice, hard labor and supreme patience. And he was rewarded with the love of his life. For her it was worth the price.
Love does not envy, or covet what others have. Some claim love when only greed is involved....claiming to love when it is really just seeking some gain, reward, or what the other person has. Such as marrying for money or befriending someone to reap benefits in the form of gifts. REAL love is content with what one has and does not seek to gain anything from someone else except their love and even then sometimes unrequited love is the outcome. We must love our enemies. That is real love. Loving someone or those who hate you. Christ loves many who hate him. Such as the Apostle Paul, who persecuted those who followed Christ until he encountered Jesus for Himself, then his hatred turned to true genuine love for others because of the love Christ showed to him.
Love does not envy. You do not love just so you can obtain money, fame or anything else. That is covetousness and self-seeking. It is not what love is. We are to love and be like Jesus who laid down His life for His friends. There is no greater love than this.
"This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends."
Love does not boast or brag. It does not vaunt itself. There is NO ROOM for pride in love. You can be proud of those you love, but self pride has no place in loving others or someone special like a spouse. The attitude that he/she is lucky to have you is NOT love. It is pride. The attitude that you are blessed to have somone's love is proper and implies thankfulness. That is love. Not being puffed up and full of oneself. Self-importance is selfishness and pride and love based on this is not love at all and will soon falter and die.
Love is courteous and never rude. Love does not point out another's faults in order to offend or hurt. Love will seek motives for its actions. Love will question itself to make sure its motives are pure. It examines the motives and the heart. It is the secret of service and not unseemly. It is forgiving and doesn't hold grudges. It does not take joy in another's failings, mistakes or sins. Even the sins of an enemy are not to be enjoyed by you. True love will completely forgive and not lord it over the other or others.
Love is unconditional. No condition should be made in exchange for love.
Love is not overbearing or cruel. It never seeks its own way that it will hurt another. It does not stay irritated or angered against an offense. It finds no pleasure in another's pain. It is devoted to truth in all things. It protects, believes, hopes, trusts, and endures.
Love brings joy. not suspicion. It hopes and remains strong in testing. It expresses itself in action through patience, kindness, forgiveness, without envy or pride. Love bears all things. True, real love never ends.