Back in December I encouraged us to take a closer look at 1 Cor. 13 – the Love Chapter and ask the Holy Spirit to show us where we fall on the “LOVE-OMETER”. The results weren’t Olympic Gold Medal status, but nonetheless I took some notes, did some digging and then set it aside. Here we are now at Valentine’s Week – so I thought it would be a good time to revisit and unpack some of those thoughts. I look forward to hearing what stood out to you as you read 1 Cor. 13.
Love is patient:
Nothing like starting off with the hashtag #fail. I so wish I were more patient. That my waiting periods would be faith-filled with patience and my words, thoughts and actions would be seasoned with patient grace (Col. 4:6). You know what happens when you pray for patience – but yes, Lord, I’m praying for it. It’s a fruit of the Spirit – so that tells me it’s possible. Help me to love like You, Lord, with long-suffering patience.
Love is kind:
When you hear the word kind, who comes to mind? We all have that someone that is so kind, so gracious, so sweet. That’s what love is. It’s kind. Ask the Lord to work His kindness in and through you.
Well, here’s a tricky one. You think you’re doing ok until that person that gets the promotion and you don’t. Or someone is prospering financially but living like the world? What about when you see others interacting socially and you’re not included? What about the teenager having her 3rd child and you’re still trying? What about the chick that constantly bashes her husband and you’re single, longing for a relationship? What about the happy family picture posted online and you’re estranged from yours? Someone has that college degree you never completed. Envy. It creeps in, little sneaker, at the most inopportune times and we may be completely unaware that that’s what it is – envy. Lord, fill our souls with longing for You. Turn our envy into rejoicing with those who rejoice. Move our eyes off of ourselves (which creates envy) – but to Your wondrous works in us, provision for us and blessings to us ~ because love does not envy.
Two words – Sports. Fans. Is it possible to love well while cheering on and being “die-hard” fan of your team? Can you be excited yet not boastful or act improperly? Yes, by the grace of God. Help us, Jesus J. And it’s not just sports, there are so many other ways we can be boastful, conceited and act improperly. Fill in the blank. One way to avoid being boastful is to turn the attention OFF of you and ON to the Lord. So the one who boasts, boasts in the Lord (2 Cor. 10:17).
Can I repeat the hashtag #fail? The epitome of love is being selfLESS. Like I said a few weeks ago, I fall short. Too short. The YMCA Storer Camps motto: “God First. Other Second. I’m Third.” Lord, help us be third!
As a litmus test to see how you’re doing with this, have an argument with your spouse. J Or stew about something someone said five years ago. Or refuse forgiveness. Oh, love. We have wandered so far. May we love well through forgiveness and forgetfulness.
Love finds no joy in unrighteousness:
Not even a little bit. “Be holy, because I am holy” 1 Peter 1:16 is a verse we’ve been discussing in our home this week. There’s a HOLY God, and then there’s us. In the NLT, this is worded, “It does not rejoice in injustice.” Help us, Lord, to LOVE well walking as children of light (Eph5:8).
Love rejoices in the truth:
“I am the way, the TRUTH and the life…” Jesus said that. Rejoice in Him. John 17:17 says, “Your word is TRUTH.” Rejoice in the Word! Love well in the truth of Jesus.
Love bears all things:
Endures. Doesn’t jet when the going gets rough. Hangs in there through unmet expectations, conflict, disappointment and disaster. Prov. 17:17, “A friend loves at all times.” Lord, help bear in love as a friend, like Jesus is to us. (John 15:15).
Love believes all things:
The benefit of the doubt is a beautiful thing.
Love hopes all things:
Remaining hopeful is a beautiful picture of LOVING well.
Love endures all things:
See “Love bears all things.”
Love never ends, never fails.
Worded differently in different translations. Both essential. Both applicable. Love won’t let you down… and it won’t let others down. And Jesus’ love – well – it never ends and it never fails. Amen.