It’s finally Friday! Yay! I hope you’ve had a blessed and productive week!
So my last post about love and relationships, was based on Ephesians. Today, I wanted to write about love again, based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
To me this is, love defined! I used to think this describes God’s nature only. But these verses also are a guide for how we should be treating each other. It makes me think of love within marriage too and other relationships as well. Afterall, we are made in His image, and we are to be imitators of Christ! While some of the verses seem pretty straightforward and “simple”, in my opinion these attributes are very deep and can seem so hard to reach. We all have different struggles. For some people, being patient with anyone can come easy. But they struggle with envy. Or vice- versa. We all have a struggle. But the only way to do it is with the Holy Spirit’s help! There is just no other way!
When I read these verses, I think of the image of leaving your old self behind, that “old version” of yourself dying. That person no longer being there because you are a new person in Christ. Surrendering completely to Christ. Nobody is perfect. We just need to strive to be these things on a daily basis. And yes it can be a struggle but without God and the Holy Spirit’s help, there’s no way we can learn to really love the way He wants us to. Of course forgiving and loving does not mean you have to let people step all over you. But I think it means you still serve them and even respect them. You show them love. You are still good to them. While at the same time, if it’s a person who is offending you, sometimes it is wise to keep your distance in order to keep the peace. But not harbor any sort of resentment in your heart or keep bringing up offenses of the past.
At least for me, before I met God, I was not loving- kind! Lol. Not in the way the Lord requires at least. Though I thought I was. Even with my anger issues and everything, I did think of myself as a loving person and, I guess I was. I wasn’t all evil LOL, there was a lot of goodness in me. I certainly was aching for love and it was apparent. But, I had poor self- control when it came to certain things, and I did not exhibit the fruit of the spirit. I’m sure you’ve met someone like this. So how could I really love people the way that is described above, if I didn’t know God’s love? If I hadn’t experienced it for myself? The Bible says that it’s easy to love those who love you. Everyone does that. But we have to love those who don’t love us, our enemies. The people who want to destroy us!
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. -Matthew 5: 43- 48
The world has their OWN definition of love. But of course for us, followers of Christ, who have experienced the love of Christ, our definition is quite different. When I was in the world, it was easy for me to love those who loved me. I had nothing but love, patience and kindness for them. All those great things. The challenge comes in loving those who are against us, our enemies.
Applying all of the above verses from Corinthians, to an enemy… Can you even imagine that? Or loving the people who love us, but are behaving in ways we just don’t like? That’s what makes the difference. And only having a heart for God will make us do that. Only when we are truly transformed by God, will we be able to do it. Otherwise, it simply does not even make sense to us.
The world calls that crazy. And many Christians simply refuse to follow the Bible. They doubt it. But we must simply follow the word, and let ourselves be transformed by it. 💖😀 It does not matter how much work you do for the church, if your heart is not in the right place. Pride is not right in the eyes of God. He loves us and gives us a chance of course, but we cannot hold pride in our hearts. Especially toward the things of God. If God has given us a directive to love people (see above verse from Corinthians again to see what it means lol), then why are we acting in unloving ways toward them? 🤔
If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13: 1-3 NIV
The reality is, that many Christians, have not actually experienced the love of God for themselves. There hasn’t been a full transformation. Therefore, it is impossible for any Christian to really give the kind of love described in these verses, when they themselves, simply don’t have it. 🙁 You cannot give what you don’t have. It’s really as simple as that. If you don’t have God’s love in you first, you won’t be able to give God’s love to others. 🙁
So my message is simply, that we cannot try to love others in the way it says in these verses, on our own strength. It might work for a while, but eventually you will fail at it again because it’s not the real deal. We need to experience God’s love for ourselves first and then, with the Holy Spirit helping us, we will be able to extend this kind of love to others. So the first thing is just opening our hearts and putting aside all pride and doubt. We have to ask God for the Holy Spirit, to come help us in this area. Loving others is something I think everyone struggles with at some point or another. But the first thing is, you have to be willing to admit you need help in this area & ask the Lord for help. Otherwise, no changes will take place. In these verses, we have a clear guide as to what God’s love is. But we cannot rely on our own strength, as this will be fruitless. We need to rely on God. It starts with humbling ourselves before the Lord. 🙏💪 Just as in Galatians, we read of the fruit of the Spirit, here we can’t possibly see this character change without the Spirit being in us. ❤🙏 These verses are very closely related imo. ❤
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5: 22-23 ESV
I hope this message was helpful and that it inspired you in some way! God is truly amazing and if we open our hearts to Him and just humble ourselves before Him and listen to His voice, He can mold our character and shape us into the very best we can be for His glory!! We must ask for wisdom & discernment. ❤💯 I am actually going to do a 3rd & final post about love, God willing I want to have it up early next week! I also will be doing my Friday music posts every other Friday, that way I have more time to do more “reflection” kinds of posts.❤🤓🙌 Have a great Holiday weekend!! 🤗🙏 Xoxo