1 Corinthian 13:4-7, NIV
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour 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.”
So what is love? Patience comes first. If you love someone there’s going to be a time when they’re going to upset you by pressing your ‘hot’ buttons. We can feel really upset at them. But the mark of true love is to be really patient with the person who irritates you the most. Love covers over a multitude of ‘irritations and annoyances’.
The mark of true love is long suffering. Godly love doesn’t just sit back and suffer. It does something about it. Godly love reaches out to the person who’s hurting us and says. “I care for you. This does not change my love”. This is how God loves us. He shows us kindness and forgiveness. This kind of love transforms people’s lives.
Love also rejoices in the truth. When we love the way we should, we have to think about how we say things, in case we crush and hurt the other person. God tells us the truth and loves us too much to let us remain in darkness. We need to love our fellow Christians the same way.
Love is humble. Humility is an important part of our love relationship with God and others. Pride is a big issue for many of us. It often brings about misunderstandings and arguments. Pride prevents intimacy, as it conceals the true self in fear of being ‘uncovered’ for who we truly are. 1 John 1:7 says ‘If we walk in the light, He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another’. Light always reveals and uncovers.
When we find ourselves in an argument, what should we do? To prevent a deadlock – God is asking us to be humble and say sorry for our part. Therefore God is calling us to initiate reconciliation and restore unity.
Let’s be quick to say “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me. I love you”.
1 John 4:10 says ‘This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins’. Before we can truly love others we must be filled with the love of God first. Our love tank must be filled up by God first. As we enter the New Year, may we truly know the love of God shed abroad in our hearts.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that You’re love. Thank You that You desire us, as sons and daughters, to know You deeper and to be loved and cherished by You. Fill us with Your love in our hearts as we enter into a new year with You. In the name of Jesus, Amen.