Love Is... (part three)

This is the third and final of a series of article from 1 Corinthians 13, covering the many aspects of love as God defines it.

“Love is not provoked, and does not take into account a wrong suffered” Love finds a way of not letting others get under its skin. The loving person is not quick to be offended, is not irritable, and is not easily insulted.

Love always looks for the positive side to everything, assumes the best about others, and leaves the past where it belongs. Anytime we hold onto grudges, or hold a past mistake over somebody’s head, we are failing to show love. One of the truly great arts is to learn when to forget.

“Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth” That is, love never takes pleasure in wrongdoing, or revels in sin. It is not so much doing a wrong thing that is meant here, but the pleasure that we take from another person’s downfall, or gossip, or hearing a derogatory statement. We are often more excited by the misfortunes of others (and their downfall) than moral victory. Love, however, recognizes the hidden costs behind sin and never takes pleasure in it. Love clearly sees the difference between sin and righteousness, and its consequences (Romans 6:23). Its goal is the propagation of truth, and it rejoices to hear about salvation.

Furthermore, part of loving truth means never violating scripture, and holding to God’s standards and pattern consistently. We must handle the word of truth accurately (2 Timothy 2:15), and apply it soundly (1 Timothy 4:16, 2 Timothy 1:13).

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…”  There is nothing love cannot face, nothing it cannot conquer. The only time love fails us is when we leave it at home and ignore its guidance. Love dictates endurance through trials, patience to our enemies, and belief in the goodness of God and those who obey Him. Instead of bitterness, love gives us hope in the future, and a positive outlook.