Love is one of the funniest words in the English Dictionary. It is a word that is so often said, yet rarely done. Today’s society often tell each other how much we love them, only to turn around and hurt them seconds later. The problem is of course, is that we tend to focus on ourselves, and not on others.
Love is more than an emotion it is also an action! If we are going to show someone how much we love them then we need to show it by our actions, and not just by the words we say. I often find myself wondering how I can show my love for God to myself and others. I have always considered myself a very loving person but until recently I didn’t realize that maybe I wasn’t doing it in the right way or manner. I have always found 1 Corinthians 13 to be wonderful chapter to live by in regards to love. When I finally decided to take a step back and re-evaluate my love for myself I knew I had to read the scripture to gain a better understanding. Every time that I read 1 Corinthians it really makes me evaluate how I am showing love and to question if it is in the right manner. The most powerful thing about this scripture is that it teaches up how to act toward ourselves, other people and mostly how we should behave towards God but it is also a guide on how we should act when faced with difficult circumstances. The first three things the chapter says about love are “Love is patient, Love is kind. Love does not envy!”
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, patients is describes as: “bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint; not hasty or impetuous.” Patience shows God that we trust Him and that we know He is in control of everything. If we are following God’s will for our lives then we have absolutely nothing to fear or worry about. When the enemy starts knocking at our door, and we are left to go through some trials in our lives, then we need to have patience and we need to trust the Lord with all our hearts. We need to realize that there is a purpose for what ever it is we are going through, and then we need to approach God with calmness and ask Him what it is we need to learn from our current circumstances. We have to remember that God will not make us go through something if it isn’t going to further his kingdom in some way and that He will not give us anything that we cannot bear (1 Cor 10:13). Trials are hard, but they can be even harder when we are not willing to be patient enough to learn and grow from them. When we are patient enough to learn and grow from our trials then God knows that we are dedicated to His purpose and furthering his kingdom.
Secondly this scripture talks about how love is kind. Kind is defined as sympathetic or helpful nature, considerate, or gracious. I don’t think the word “kind” gets the credit it deserves. Sometimes when someone tells you “Oh you are so kind”, we kind of just brush it off like it is no big deal, but it really is! Our kindness to other people shows them how much we love God! It is the will of God for us to love Him, ourselves and other people. We are called to be gracious and kind. We are called to show grace and mercy to those who don’t deserve it. Being kind is very special; it is showing other people love, the way that God showed it to us. So the next time you feel the urge to hold a grudge, or blame someone else for your problems, think again. Show some kindness, be gracious and spread the love of God.
The final characteristic of the three was envy. Envy is defined as “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage; an object of envious notice or feeling.” One of the hardest things about being here on earth with billions of other people is it is hard to feel unique. Especially for me, it is really hard to feel like you have a place in this world and your talents and ambitions actually matter or will even make a difference. I think that is why we sometimes envy other people; well at least one of the reasons why I envy people. We envy when we see someone else who looks like they have got it all together, then we desire whatever it is they have; but we can’t have it, because it is not ours to have in the first place, God gave it to them for a reason! At some point each of us have wished that we came up with that particular idea or wrote that particular top seller book or on the opposite side of the spectrum think “how could I ever do something so amazing as that?”. That is being envious! God has created each one of us for a purpose. No purpose is better than the other, and no purpose is too small or meaningless. We have nothing to envy. Envy is something that effects the person having the feelings more than the person who is being envied. We have to remember “love does not envy”! We need to do to show ourselves love in order to love God completely! We need to realize who we are and to whom we belong to. We need to have faith and confidence in knowing that God has a unique purpose and plan for each of us, and envy is only stumbling block in our path to fulfilling our true God given purpose. If we really love ourselves and if we truly embrace who we are in Christ, then we have absolutely no reason to envy another people.
In closing I want to remember that truly loving God means putting aside every thought of evil and every action of sin. It means putting aside ourselves and living for something greater… someone greater, in every decision made. We need to demonstrate what love really is not only by our words but more so by our actions towards other. And in doing so we are showing others and ourselves what the Love of God is.