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. I Corinthians 13:4-8
Our English language falls short in truly defining love. As I look at each phrase of the Scripture verses above, I am reminded of how impossible it is to truly love as God loves. Am I a self-seeking princess demanding my own way? Am I easily angered when I don’t get it? Do I keep a mental list of people who have hurt me? Do I protect the character of others by not gossiping about them, or think the best of others before forming opinions or making judgments? Do I keep on responding lovingingly even when it may not be reciprocated?
When I really ponder the way God loves me, I only see how far short I fall in loving others.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Romans 8:5-9
God’s word, the Bible, says that when we live outside of the Spirit’s control we are actually hostile to God and cannot please Him. But when we allow His Spirit to be active and move freely in our lives, we will be empowered to live and love as God does.
How can I know that this quality of the Fruit of the Spirit is being developed in me? When I begin to respond to others the way I see God loving me.
Love never fails.