Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. (verses 4-7)
Read: 1 Corinthians 13:4-13
One thing this passage makes clear is that love isn’t what you feel about a person. The love which is described here is modelled on God’s love for people. As we live in Christ it becomes the model for us to follow. And what is clear is that love is not about feelings, it is about actions.
So love is about believing in people, hanging in there for them, forgiving them, doing things for them that will ease their burdens and make them feel good about themselves. A person who loves will try desperately hard not to put the other person down, to let anger control the relationship, or to make unfair or unkind comparisons about them. A good relationship is based on mutual trust, mutual care and concern, mutual building up.
And all of this is done with no strings attached! It is God’s kind of love, offered to us even when he knew that he was taking a very big risk in committing himself so much to us. But he loved us anyway. So now we love, not for what we can get but for what we can give.
Father, help me to love others as you love me, and help me to receive love willingly and completely. Amen.
by Bob Turnbull, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
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