What is true love? Part 2

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What is true love?    Part 2                

1 Corinthians 13:  4-5 “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it was wronged.” Touchpoint Bible

Extra Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.

The “man filled with love” does not envy others. Instead, when others are happy and successful, he rejoices with them (see Luke 15:25-32). The “man filled with love” does not boast, he is not proud. Instead, he is humble. The proud man loves only himself, not others. Verse 5 states that the “man filled with love” is not rude. His behaviour is courteous and gracious at all times. The “man filled with love” is not self-seeking, but seeks the good of others. He is filled with goodness, which is another fruit of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 10:24, 33; Galatians 5:22). The “man filled with love” is not easily angered. If someone hurts him or insults him, he endures it quietly. The “man filled with love” keeps no record of wrongs-that is, he takes no account of wrongful acts that others do against him. Many of us, on the other hand, nurture hurts and offenses in our minds for years. When someone wrongs us and we keep remembering it, we are keeping a record of wrongs. We don’t forget it; we don’t forgive the other person for wronging us. Love is not like that. The man filled with love doesn’t think about the wrong done to him. The man filled with love never seeks revenge. There is more coming from verse 6. The “man filled with love” does not delight in evil; he doesn’t even want to hear about it. Many of us, on the other hand, are eager to hear something bad about someone else! Why? Because when others are put down, we feel raised up. But love is never like that. The “man filled with love” rejoices with the truth. Love and truth always go together (see Ephesians 4:15).

Now from verse 7 Paul teaches that the “man filled with love” always protects others. In particular, he bears with and protects those who have weaknesses and faults. He doesn’t reveal his brother’s faults to others; instead, out of love he tries to cover them from view (1 Peter 4:8). If we love someone, it is easy to bear that person’s faults and weaknesses. But if we are finding it hard to endure a certain person, then we can be sure our love for that person is very small. Love always trusts. When we love someone, we want to trust that person. True, in the end that person may betray our trust; but that is God’s business, not ours. Our place is to trust others, not be suspicious of them. Love always hopes. When we love someone, we put hope in that person. We have hope for that person’s welfare, his success, his happiness. We hope that his heart will be pure and his character strong. And even if that person should disappoint us or betray us, we shall go on hoping in him.  Love always perseveres. Love always overcomes (see Romans 12:21). Love can never be destroyed. Love is the greatest force on earth. In verses 4-7, Paul has given us a description of a man filled with love. This is how our own life should be! This should be our goal. Paul described Jesus Christ Himself. Our goal, then, is to be like Jesus, the man of love (Romans 8:29). The love that Paul has been talking about comes only from God (1 John 4:7).

Prayer: Jesus, be the centre of our hearts. Fill them with Yourself. In Your name, we pray, Amen!

Rev. Samuel N. Modise   

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