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A Closer Look at Love

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by topher694, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

    United States
    In honor of valentines day being this week, I'm sharing a commentary I wrote a while back describing biblical love as outlined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. It is a well known scripture, because of that we often forget the high standard, yet powerful impact agape love can have. This was designed as 9 separate smaller messages, but I'm putting them all here, so you can read them as such if you like:

    Jesus commands us to love one another in the same manner He loves us. This is not always easy. Love is not a feeling. It is a choice, sometimes a difficult choice. Love suffers long and is kind. Meaning, love is kind even in the midst of suffering, even when things are difficult, even when you want to give up or blow up. Love is patient AND kind at the same time.

    Love does not envy. Envy is sneaky. It is not only coveting the blessings of others. Envy looks at the blessings of others and says “They don’t deserve that”. Envy compares its sacrifices to the sacrifices of others and says, “I’ve done more to get where I am than they have.” Love does not compare. Love joyfully and unconditionally celebrates when God blesses others.

    Love does not parade itself, it is not puffed up. Love is not boastful or proud. Pride & boasting is more than exalting yourself. Parading around diminishing others is no different than parading around exalting yourself. Love understands that God is not a respecter of persons, He does not show favoritism. Love knows that everything good in us, and about us, comes from God not our own abilities. Love never forgets who we were without Christ and it sees others as they could be with Christ.

    Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own. Love is slow to speak and quick to listen, it is not sharp-tongued. Love doesn’t say something just because it came to mind. Love puts the feelings of others above itself, even when they have mistreated us. Love is not selfish. It does not crave or demand anything from others, including recognition. Love craves to serve others without any thought of affirmation or recognition.

    Love is not provoked. Love is not easily angered. It doesn’t fly off the handle. This doesn’t mean that love doesn’t feel anger at times. It means that love controls its anger. Love sees people with compassion, even when they hurt us. Love understands that we can be different, that we can break the cycle of anger. Love doesn’t stir up wrath, it responds softly and turns away wrath.

    Love thinks no evil. It does not keep a record of wrongs. Simply put, love forgives no matter badly or how often it has been wronged. Love doesn’t just forgive. Love takes it to the next level. Love does not assume the worst in people no matter what circumstances may look like. Love focuses on what is true, what is honorable, what is just, what is pure, what is lovely and commendable in others. If finds whatever is worthy of praise in others and focuses on that.

    Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Love hates sin. Love doesn’t rejoice at the sin of others because it makes you feel better about yourself. Nor does love turn a blind eye to sin in the name of love. Love rejoices in the truth of God’s word. Love speaks the truth in love. Love confronts sin with truth, but it does not do so while violating the other aspects of Love. You cannot speak the truth in love if you are ignoring the principles of love.

    Love bears all things, believes all things. Walking in love will many times be difficult. There will always be times when it would be so much easier to give up and lash out at someone or just walk away. When you are walking in love there will even be those who accuse you of doing just the opposite of love. Love bears all things because love believes that love is God’s way, therefore, love is always the best way no matter how difficult.

    Love hopes all things, it endures all things. No matter how lost the person, no matter how desperate the situation, love never loses hope. Love holds true to all of the principles of love no matter what. Love sees it through to the end knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; perseverance builds character in us; and character produces hope in any situation and hope will never disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us, and love never fails!
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  2. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    First, Topher, I find that you have shared a lot of good things, but I think we need to discuss a thing or two, plus give even more about some things you have shared.
    I understand that in order to love the way Jesus wants, this depends on having His character which will always have us be the way we need to be to love like this. So, it is not a choice which depends on our human will's ability to choose this, but this depends on how God changes our character to be unchanging like His love . . . so we become more and more sober and stable in His way of loving.

    We need how Jesus in us changes our character so we become more and more naturally loving the way Paul describes. And with this our will becomes of His nature so we easily and readily make the choices of His love, in His creativity of what to do to love people. Jesus does say His yoke is easy and His burden is light. In His almighty power of His grace, we are snuggling with Him so there is less and less struggling. But yes we all need more correction for this > Hebrews 12:4-14.
  3. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

    United States
    Sure, our character grows from faith to faith and glory to glory as we become more like Him, but that doesn't change the nature of love itself, only our ability to walk in it. God chose us to love us unconditionally when we were still sinners and we are commanded to love one another, also a choice. Love based on feelings and circumstances can change because feelings and circumstances will change. God is unchanging, as is His love for us. And we are called to that same standard of love.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019