Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4
We love our families. We love our pets. We love our homes. We may even love spaghetti! But what is love—really? The answer can be found in this passage in 1 Corinthians 13:4. It is an amazing list of attributes. But that is not the end of it. The description of love continues in the next few verses: “It is not rude, 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” (verses 5-7). Imagine what it might be like to be married to someone who loved like that—loved with patience and kindness—someone who did not ever delight in evil. What if you worked with someone who loved like that—someone who didn’t keep a record of wrongs? Or think about your neighbor for a minute. Would your life be different if your neighbor loved like that—always protecting, trusting, hoping and persevering? I have one more question, and it is the most important one: Are you willing to love like that?
Are you willing to be patient and kind, to refrain from envy, boasting and prideful behavior? How about honoring others without seeking honor yourself? Or tempering your anger and refusing to keep score of the wrongs committed against you? That amazing list of attributes can be your goal as a follower of Christ. With God’s help, you can continually move in the right direction to become an example of what love truly is. If that is your desire, ask your heavenly Father to help you become the family member, co-worker, neighbor who loves like that—who loves just like Him.
Action Item: Write out the words to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, substituting your name each time the word “love” appears. Then begin to make the changes that God directs so that you can be a living illustration of what love really is.
Kendra Smiley, Christian Author and Speaker
East Lynn, Illinois