I Corinthians 13-14 (NLT)

Discover His heart: He longs for us to love others in the pure way He loves us

Love! Now that’s a heady subject for a 600-word blog. Great literature and screenplays have been written since recorded time about this basic emotion that we all experience. Today we have diluted the meaning of the word so much that I wonder what it really means to most of us in light of a relationship. We love chocolate and music, movies and sports, but what does it mean when we love someone? Hopefully it is more than feeling lightheaded and warm fuzzies.

When we ask a young couple today if they are in love, I wonder what that question means to them? Is their love a commitment to each other more lasting than the music or food they both love at the moment? With the blur between love and lust in our movies and on television, do they understand that love is a noun with significance, not just a feeling? Evidently the subject of love had its share of misunderstandings even back in Paul’s day, and he wrote a brilliant chapter about it with only 320 words. Imagine.

@ I Corinthians 13
It’s interesting that Paul’s writing about love falls between chapters on spiritual gifts in the church and the use of the prophetic gifts. I’m fairly certain it was intentional. All of our giftings, knowledge, faith and generosity are without merit and often turn sour if they do not flow out of a heart of love. (1-4)

Most of us can describe how love makes us feel, but in Chapter 13, Paul did us the favor of giving the character of love, what love is, not how it feels. In reading his list, how does our love for others reflect true love’s character?

• Love is patient
• Love is kind
• Love is not jealous
• Love is not boastful
• Love is not proud
• Love is not rude
• Love does not demand its own way
• Love is not irritable
• Love keeps no record of being wronged
• Love does not rejoice was injustice
• Love does rejoice whenever truth wins out
• Love never gives up
• Love never loses faith
• Love is always hopeful
• Love endures through every circumstance

Well, on my report card, I’ve written a big “N” for Needs Improvement in how I love others. I wonder what would happen to the divorce rate in our country if the love we brought into our marriages was true love’s character rather than the movie screen version. The next time a dreamy-eyed young couple tells me of their great love for each other, I may just whip out this list to make sure they know what they’re talking about when they say the word love. It couldn’t hurt…she writes in 465 words.

Moving Forward: I’m challenged today to love others with the unselfish character of I Corinthians 13, enduring through every circumstance.

Tomorrow @ Exodus 5-8