LOVE IS NOT
By Carolyn Dale Newell
Love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
1 Cor. 13:4b-8a NKJV
We are commanded to love. Paul tells us some things love is not.
Love isn’t jealous. When our Christian sister gets a new car or house, we are happy for her. Jealousy is a complaint against God.
Love does not brag, and it is not puffed up. Rather than bragging on ourselves, love brags on others. Boasting is selfish, but love is selfless. The Greek word translated “puffed up” means “blowing”, people blow things out of proportion serving self, but love seeks the interests of others.
Love is not rude, nor is it easily angered. Usually the ones closest to us catch our worst moments. They experience our bad moods and frustrations, but love is gracious, and love is self-disciplined, another fruit of the Spirit.
Love is not resentful. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. It doesn’t hold a grudge. Love doesn’t retaliate. It forgives and forgets.
Finally, Paul tells us that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pet. 4:8). That is the idea of bearing, not covering sin up, but love refuses to expose it. It believes Biblical truth will conquer sin. When things seem hopeless, love still hopes, like a parent holding out hope for a lost child. That is when love will endure all things. Why does love go to these extremes? Love never fails!
It sounds like we have to work on our love, but we cannot do a thing. Genuine love, like Paul described, only comes through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Fill me with Your love so I may be a better example of Christ to all I come in contact with today and every day, even my bad ones. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Read Matt. 5:43-48.
HIKING THE TRAIL
We cannot do anything in our own power to love like this. However, we can yield to the Spirit when flesh tempts us to act in an unloving manner. Identify the moments in recent days when you could have been more loving. What caused you to behave differently?
Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.