“Do everything in love” (I Corinthians 16:14).
But how can we do this?
Like this –
“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. Love never fails.” (I Corinthians 13:4-8, NIV).
This love minimizes conflict. This love is anti-rivalry. Playful rivalry between lovers makes life interesting and fun; selfish rivalry destroys love and life.
A closer look at love
- Love is patient: It is long-suffering. It restrains anger when provoked. Patience is more than passive waiting. It’s active restraint in the moment of provocation. God is patient (Romans 2:5; II Peter 3:9).
- Love is kind: It reaches out in good will with acts of care and concern. Love not only patiently forebears, but through kindness, actively pursues. Loving people are distinguished by their kindness. God is kind — even to the ungrateful and wicked (Luke 6:35-36; Titus 3:4-5)
- Love does not envy: It does not resent the blessings of others. Envious people engage in evil rivalry. The envier gloats over the harm or misfortune of the envied. Enviers delight in evil.
- Love does not boast: Love corrects the desire to call attention to self. A loving person is not a windbag or braggart. He does not parade himself. Love is willing to work anonymously. It needs no limelight or stage, applause or recognition.
- Love is not proud: not puffed up; not arrogant; not full of oneself. A loving person does not think more highly of himself than sober judgment dictates (Romans 12:3).
- Love is does not dishonor others: It is not rude. It is respectful of others.
- Love is not self-seeking: It does not insist on its own way. It is not self-absorbed.
- Love is not easily angered: It is not easily agitated nor easily provoked. Loving people are not hot-tempered, short-fused people.
- Love keeps no record of wrongs: Love seeks forgiveness and reconciliation. When hurt badly, this part of love is hard to practice.
- Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth: This rules out gossip, slander, and gloating – delight in the downfall of others.
Love’s grand finale – Love always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres.
There is nothing love cannot face or endure.
The four verbs (protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres) burst into a staccato emphasis on the way love brings everything under its influence.
- Love is tenacious and faithful.
- Love is positive and hopeful.
- Love is brave and noble.
- Love never fails.
“Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us” (Ephesians 5:2).