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.
This verse of Scripture (1 Cor 13:4-8 NIV) is quoted at weddings probably more than any other. It’s been set to music, printed on posters, engraved on gifts. Yet, what many people don’t realize is that the “Love” spoken of here is not the kind of love we think of when we are romantically in love with another.
When we say we love something or someone we are trying to describe the feelings we have about that thing or person. I love my new car, my puppy, my wife, my new job, that new movie, etc, etc, etc. What an injustice to lump a husband or wife into a group of things as meaningless as a car or a video – yet we do it! We do it because our society over-emphasizes the word. Its not like there aren’t other words we could use – I like my new car, I enjoy my new phone, that new movie was great to watch, etc. etc. etc. Why does this world over use the word “Love“?
Before we attempt to answer that, lets look at what the Word of God says about “Love“. Not forgetting the selfless kind of love outlined in 1 Cor 13 what else do we see in Scripture?
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 LB
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31 KJV
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 KJV
Lets take a look at this last verse from John 15:13 for a minute. We all know that Jesus loved us all so much that He willingly took our place by dieing for our sins. Are we now to believe that He is instructing us to die for our friends as well?
YES! He is!!
But not the kind of death that He experienced. It’s more of that – “take up your cross and follow me” that Jesus also mentioned. It’s a “dieing-to-self” and considering the other person before yourself kinda thing. Love can be a noun – expressing a feeling, desire or passion or Love can be a verb – an action word.
It is the noun that gets misused so often today. I love this and we love that and so on. But real love – the action word – is rarely seen in this society where we fall, as if by accident, into love and fall, as if involuntarily, out of love. But, the truth is, Love is a choice and not a feeling. It’s a conscience decision to care for and support and cherish another person even if you sometimes don’t “feel” like doing so. Certainly, feelings play a role in people first getting to know each other. An attraction or shared interests or even a passion brings people together. This is the “Eros” or physical kind of love that is a part of our human nature. But, Jesus wants us to transcend this and move into the “Agape” or brotherly/selfless love that will sustain us in our relationships.
So, for real love to last, somebodies gotta die!
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for_____________!
You fill in the blank. Maybe you gotta die for your husband, maybe for your wife, maybe for your child or maybe even your parents. What might this death look like? Glad you asked! Maybe you have to swallow your pride at work rather than telling the Boss off and loosing your job which would harm your whole family. Maybe, you have to not insist on proving your point to your spouse so as avoid a stupid fight over nothing. Maybe it’s as simple as trusting your child with your car even though your afraid they might get it scratched and thereby build them up.
Prioritizing the needs of another is the action which spells love!
The “Die-to-self” kinda Love that Jesus exemplified
There are three things that remain—faith, hope, and love—
and the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:13 LB
Why does this world over use the word “Love“? Who knows? Who cares?
We are not of this World and we can show that in the way we truly love others. 1John 4
Thanks for stopping by. Be Blessed, Al
Also consider –
Last Years Post on Unforgiveness – http://trinitystudiospicsblog.com/2014/03/19/but-if-you-dont-forgive/
Last Years Post on Love in Action – http://trinitystudiospicsblog.com/2014/04/15/the-basin-and-the-towel/