What is Love?
If you ask 10 people, “What is love?”, you may very well get 10 different answers. However, since God defines love, let’s dig into what He says love is.
Has anyone ever told you that they loved someone and told you about a particular incident, and you thought – “That does not sound like love!”
Last time, we talked about God’s love. I shared this passage near the end of the devotional so I wanted to spend a little more time in these verses today.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
“Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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.”
The Corinthian Church
The book of 1 Corinthians is a letter written by Paul to the young Christian church in the Greek city of Corinth. Because of the background of the people, and other things, there seemed to always be a lot going on in the church that could or was already causing trouble in the church.
One of the things Paul emphasizes is love. Loving others is so important and the people were not holding to that.
So Paul starts out by saying that if we do not have love we really do not have anything of worth – wisdom, riches, beauty… nothing.
Let’s go to Verse 4:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
1 – patient – bears with other people without getting frustrated or angry
2 – kind – to treat people with care and not injure even with words, except in loving correction
3 – does not envy – does not want what someone else has and does not become resentful
4 – does not boast – not a braggart – not rubbing possessions or even blessings in the faces of others. This does not mean that we should not praise God and give Him glory for His blessing to us.
5 – not proud – A proud person may think they are better than other people, or even think they do not need God.
“It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
Love is not…
6 – rude – having a deliberate lack of consideration for others
7 – self-seeking – only or mainly working to further their own interests
8 – easily angered – obviously – doesn’t get angry quickly – not short-fused
9 – no record of wrongs – not keeping count or tallying wrongs, forgiving instead of holding onto things
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”
10 – So, when a person who loves hears something bad they do not get excited and spread it around or join in. They delight and rejoice in the truth, and do what is right according to Scripture.
“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
11 – protects – takes care of and protects relationships and people they love
12 – trusts – gives the benefit of the doubt; trusts God with that person
13 – hopes – looks for God’s best to happen
14 – perseveres – it does not give up on loving someone
“Love never fails.”
When we as Christians are seeking to love others with the love of the Lord, He helps us to do that by the power of His Holy Spirit. Christ will love through us – and that love never fails.
(I used the Holman Commentary for the Book of 1 Corinthians and the Matthew Henry Commentary in preparing this study.)
So what do we do with this today?
My main takeaway is that this is part of God’s own character. This is how He loves. He inspired Paul to write these beautiful verses.
It is also His definition of love for us to live by. I think this is a great set of verses for us to commit to memory so when that person at work tramples on my/your very last nerve we can say to ourselves “Love is patient, love is kind…” because we know we are called to love others and according to Luke 10:25-37, those people do qualify as our neighbors, huh? As unlovable as people can be, God can help us love them.
Lord, I thank You for teaching us about Yourself and about how we should be loving others – what it looks like. Please help us to glorify You in all we do. Make us what You want us to be. In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.
Go Deeper Today: