A few notes from my reading yesterday in 2 Corinthians…
“Love’s great-hearted; love is kind, knows no jealousy, makes no fuss, is not puffed up, no shameless ways, doesn’t force its rightful claim, doesn’t rage or bear a grudge, doesn’t cheer at others’ harm, rejoices, rather, in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things; love hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Kingdom New Testament
What is love?
Christ was a perfect example of what it means to love purely. How do we follow in his footsteps?
Christ showed us that love is honest.
Christ behaved and spoke honestly. He never let the opinions or judgments of others impact his behavior even though he was often misunderstood, misquoted, and misjudged. If brutal honesty is what it took to get through to someone, Christ would be brutal. If gentleness was what was needed, Christ would be gentle. A spirit of love animated Christ to tell the disciples to let the little children come to him; that same spirit animated him to tell the Pharisees they were snakes. It’s hard for us to follow this example because are more inclined to follow our feelings about a situation instead of the facts. Christ had no problems with this. He never let his emotions cloud his judgment. His love for others caused him to put their needs above his own.
Christ also never put on a show. He didn’t pretend. He was who was—whether people accepted him or not.
We must also be honest. Honest with ourselves and with others. This is the first step in being able to show love.
Christ showed us that love is transparent.
Christ didn’t hide who he was.
Christ wasn’t afraid to appear weak.
Christ wasn’t afraid openly weep in front of his friends.
Christ wasn’t afraid to ask his own disciples to pray.
Christ showed us that love is obedience.
Christ was “obedient unto death.”
Christ showed us that love does not rejoice in anyone’s destruction.
Christ wept over Jerusalem and the unwillingness of his people to embrace how God had chosen to rescue them.
Christ showed us that love does not discriminate.
Christ touched the untouchable, spent time with sinners and prostitutes, and ministered to the poor and the outcasts.
Christ showed us that love is not jealous.
Christ wasn’t jealous—in other words, he was not afraid of rivalry. He knew his rightful place. Anytime anyone asked him why he wasn’t doing more to take the reigns from those who were in authority he answered that and his kingdom was not of this world. Christ was secure in his calling. He didn’t need cheering crowds or voices of affirmation.
Christ showed us that fear has no place in love.
Christ did not allow fear to motivate his actions. He wasn’t afraid to appear weak. He wasn’t afraid of humiliation—he allowed himself to be abused and ultimately hang naked on a cross. He wasn’t afraid to be alone when his own friends abandoned him when he was arrested.
Christ showed us that above all else, love is sacrificial.
A loving person will put the needs of others above his own needs. A loving person will do what is right, regardless of whether or not what is right is received or appreciated or reciprocated. A loving person does what needs to be done and expects nothing to be done in return. A loving person is willing to become nothing so Someone else can become everything.
Lord, put love in our hearts so that we can love one another the way you have loved us.