I Corinthians 13: 4-7
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Have you ever said those three fateful words… “I love you”? My guess is that you’ve said that phrase on numerous occasions. You probably said, “I love you” to your Mom just yesterday. You’ve likely said it to most of your family and maybe even some of your closest friends. You’ve probably said it to your pet and may have even said it to your favorite movie star (don’t worry, I’m not going to tell).
I remember the first time I said, “I love you” to my husband. We had known each other for over two years and had been dating for about 10 months when we first verbally expressed those words of commitment. For some it may seem funny that we would wait that long but for us, it was an unspoken decision. You see, I had never told any guy that I loved him before (beside my dad and my brother) and I knew it wasn’t something to take lightly. Even though he had been my best friend and I trusted him completely, I knew that my telling someone I loved him meant committing to the qualifications listed above.
I knew that saying, “I love you” to Glenn must be supported by patience, kindness, and absence of jealousy. I knew that this love I professed must be capable of “not seeking its own” but desiring the best for him, even if it hurt. I knew that my love must be willing to be hurt and then forgive completely without grudge or complaint. And I knew that my love must be able to see the good in the bad, hope for the future in a present storm, and endure all sorrow and pain with the past as its foundation and the future as its goal. When I said, “I love you” I wanted it to mean that I not only felt romantically in love with him, but also longed to go with him through all of life’s struggles and journeys and that I wouldn’t give up no matter how hard it became.
You see, I think this is what God is trying to tell us through this passage. Love is not something to be taken lightly. It is not easy and at times, it is not enjoyable. Love requires decision and perseverance. Love is a soft answer to a spiteful attack. Love is the willingness to give until you are wrung dry. And love is caring so much for someone that you choose honesty, even though it will hurt and may damage a relationship. Love is a godly act coming from a “human” person.
So my questions for you today are “Who do you love?” and “How are you loving?” We have been called to love. This is a powerful commandment and our instructions for completing this assignment are listed in the passage above. Are you loving someone today? Are you actively seeking their good? I challenge you to work out your faith through actively loving the people in your life, even when it hurts and you know there may be no return.