Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 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, and always perseveres. Love never fails.
I know you have seen this... verse before. This verse is one of the better-known verses. Janie and I used it at our wedding ceremony; you may have used it at yours. I was thinking this verse should not just be used as a verse at the ceremony but as a marriage vow itself. This verse should also be our motto in life and our mission statement and our vision.
You may think I talk a lot about love, but so did Jesus. He told us to love God and love one another. Did you ever ask someone what his or her definition of love is? I have. I have gotten all kinds of answers. I believe the true definition of love is found in Corinthians 13:4-8 of any version of the Bible. I believe this is the love that God wants us to demonstrate toward one another. I believe this is the love we should demonstrate toward our spouse, children, parents, family, and everyone. This is the love Jesus was talking about.
Love is patient. Am I patient with others, or am I in a hurry? Do I let people finish sentences? Do I let them be themselves? Do I let them learn through their own experience and give them to God? Am I patient with God, trusting his timing? Love is kind. Am I kind to everyone, even the cashiers, waitresses, bureaucrats, those important to me, and people I disagree with? First Thessalonians 5:15 says to make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but to always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
Love does not boast or is not proud. Boasting and pride are something God looks down on and will bring us down for. Love does not boast. We have nothing to really boast about except the Lord. This arrogance has no beauty whatsoever. Pride and ego lead to quarrels and ultimately sin. Godís love is perfect; it does neither of these things.
Love does not easily anger, nor keep a record of wrongs. We are called to forgive. What kind of love is easily angered? Is that the love God shows us? When God showed us his love by giving Jesus on the cross his blood washed away our sin. It is gone; God does not keep a record of what he has washed away. God is patient with us and not easily angered. But he has been angry with his people because they have turned away and not followed his commands. God is pure love. Jesus is pure love. We are to emulate him.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. God is the truth. We delight in God. We have nothing to do with evil. Love always protects. God protects us, so we need to protect others, as well as show them the truth and show them the way to salvation and help them stay the course. Love always trusts. Trusting God is easy, but do we always trust him? We need to. He is perfect truth, love, and salvation. We can trust him; we need to demonstrate that trust. Love always hopes. With God, there is always hope. It lets us look forward with conviction that we are his and he will always be with us and he will never let us out of his sight. Hope for great things to come through him. Love always perseveres. Donít let othersí shortcomings get you down. Be patient, longsuffering, and hang on. Persevere with God as Job did. He is with us, no matter what.
Love never fails. What a promise! God is love, and God never fails. I need to be like Jesus. He was pure love. He gave his life for me. I can do that by not being self-serving. I need to show the qualities Paul told the Corinthians about. Paul did not make this up; the Bible is divinely inspired. It is the voice of God. If I want to know how to love, I only need to read the definition given me by God himself. Am I about love? Am I about God?
From my book A Prodigal Return: Reflections from a Grateful Heart
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