Monday, March 20, 2017

Love Is...Part 2

This foray into 1 Corinthians 13 started a couple of weeks ago when I made the assertion that my duty and joy as a disciple of Jesus is to love. It seems simple enough. But what is love? What does it mean to love? If I can’t define it, how can I do it? I opened up my dictionary app and looked up the word love. There were nine different definitions listed, a few with multiple sub-meanings, each highlighting a different facet of the word, none of which helped me put into words an adequate definition to help me move forward with actually “loving” God and my neighbor. That’s when I turned to 1 Corinthians 13.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

So to love God and my neighbor, I must be patient and kind, never envious or act out of self-importance. My words and actions must never dishonor or come from anger. I can never hold a grudge and or be driven by self-interest. To love God and my fellow man, I must not seek out or celebrate evil—but search for and revel in truth. I will need to safeguard those who are precious to God and never give up in my zeal for the Lord. Because of who God is, I will believe the unbelievable and count on what I can’t yet prove.

1 John 4:16 says “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”  So not only does 1 Corinthians teach me about how I am supposed to interact with God and others but it teaches me something about God himself:  God is patient and kind, never envious or acts out of self-importance. He never dishonor, acts out in anger, holds a grudge, and is never driven by self-interest. He does not seek out or celebrate evil, but revels in truth. He safeguards those who are precious to him and never give ups. Because of who God is, He makes the unbelievable believable and gives that which has yet to be credibility.

It seems love is hard work and a skill I will need a lifetime to master. It’s a good thing I have such a perfect example to follow in Jesus.

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