Thursday, October 14, 2010

Love Never Fails

"Love suffers long and is kind; 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 Corinthians 13:4-8

By my count, the word 'love' appears in one form or another 497 times in the King James Verson of the Bible. The breakdown goes something like this;

the word - love - appears 311 times
the word - love's - appears 1 time
the word - loved - appears 98 times
the word - lovely - appears 4 times
the word - loves - appears 2 times
the word - lovest - appears 12 times
the word - loveth - appears 65 times
the word - loving - appears 3 times
497 times total

The Bible makes it clear that our God is a God of love (1 Jn 4:8). It's not surprising though, that He should choose to describe Himself in such a way. His actions surely show it. His determination and steadfastness for us expresses it. His instruction and guidance for us point us in the direction of love. Why then, do we have such a hard time with it?

By nature, we humans are selfish. This is perhaps the very antithesis of love itself. We are all guilty at one point or another of being the very things the Bible says love isn't. We're rude, we can be jealous on occasion, we brag and can be known to be arrogant. We think only about ourselves, especially when irritated. If you cross us, we can't let it go. Sometimes, we even smile on the inside if something bad happens to someone who's done us wrong, justifying our feelings by saying they deserve it. God tells us that we are to have no part in any of this.

But to truly understand love and be in harmony with God, we have to grow into it. The Apostle Paul tells us that when he was a child, he spoke and understood as a child. But as he became a man, he understood as a man. We are no different. With age comes wisdom, with wisdom comes a better understanding of what love is. When we better understand love, we can better understand our God.

Are you doing everything you can to better understand love in your daily life? Are you really working on self improvement the way God would want you to? This would require you to love more, and hate less.

Forgive your coworkers' annoyances more often-there's just a few more hours in the day. Don't lose your cool in rush hour traffic-you're almost home. Don't brag on yourself-let someone else do it for you. Don't be so jealous-appreciate what God has given you! Only then when we look at things from this mindset can we really know what our loving God is all about.

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