1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (NIV)
There might not be any greater passage than this for our Christian walk. The commandments of God throughout the Old and New Testaments guide us into communion with Him. When we obey, we will find ourselves immersed in the presence of God. But all of these commandments, Jesus said, are summed up in the act of loving God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves. The depth of our spiritual communion with God is dependent upon how well we love.
Most of us think of love as an emotion. And it is true there are people in our life that we have a definite emotional affinity for. These are friends, family, and romantic relationships. There is a bursting or euphoria in our hearts when we think about what they mean to us. But love is not simply an emotion. True love is also a skill.
Love is patient. You may have a deep affectionate love for someone, but when you lose your patience with them, you are not loving them in the moment. Patience, however, is not an emotion. It is a skill. I can work on becoming more patient. I can pray and seek the Lord and the Holy Spirit will mature me into a higher level of patience. Patience is love that endures when the feelings are not there.
Love that endures regardless of how we feel about a person at any given moment immerses us into the glorious presence of God. When our love endures as God’s love endures, it is only possible through our communion with God.
The world loves those who love them. But this is nothing more than a selfish affection. As long as others are patient with us, then we will be patient with them. The problem is that if they are us are being patient, then neither of us have much of a reason to be patient. It’s easy. Jesus said even pagans can do this. Loving better means loving people as God loves them even when we don’t feel it. When Jesus was betrayed, tortured, and murdered, His response was love: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
As enduring love is defined for us in this passage, notice none of what love is has an emotional component. The only emotion mentioned is anger and love is NOT easily angered. How well are you loving?
Prayer: Lord, give me the power to grasp how deep is your love for me and help me to improve in loving others when I don’t feel like it. Amen.
Don’t forget to share this with someone who needs it!