If you haven’t read part 1 yet, you can find it here: https://seekingscripture.com/what-is-love-part-1/
Love Never Fails But We Sure Can
In Part One of this series on love, we looked at love in general and, more specifically, who we’re supposed to love. In this second part, it’s on my heart to take the time to look at how we’re supposed to love. As I mentioned in the first article, this has not been an easy task to write. I feel compelled by the LORD to write what I’ve written, and I’ve shed many tears over the words you’re about to read. I pray that you receive this with the heart of agape it was written with. The best place to start is the place in the Bible that is read most when you’re talking about love. It’s the part of the Bible that’s read at almost every wedding: 1 Corinthians 13. We’ll be looking specifically at 1 Cor 13:4-7.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
While we often hear these verses at weddings, it should be noted that the word translated as ‘love’ here is agape and not eros. This is the kind of love (agape) we’re supposed to show to everyone around us, not just our husband or wife. The next verse, right after we read that love endures all things, starts by telling us that –
Love. Never. Fails.
So we need to realize that if we don’t see the words of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 applying to us and our treatment of those around us, it’s not love that’s failing; it’s us.
Using this passage as a measuring rod against how the Evangelical Church (or contemporary, western followers of Jesus on the whole) is doing right now is heartbreaking. My heart is breaking for the people of YHWH. My heart is breaking because we’re not being who we’re supposed to be. My heart is breaking because we’re shocked that the world isn’t being drawn to our light without realizing that we’ve turned the dimmer down so low that they can’t see it. Hide it under a bushel? Yep. My heart is breaking because I love my King, and He misses His children.
Love suffers long and is kind
I see a people who are offended at the mere thought of suffering, and they need to get their reward immediately. They are not long-suffering. I see a people who are barbarous in their malignity. They are not kind.
Love does not envy
I see a people who look at those around them and can’t stand it if they don’t have everything their neighbors have. They are full of envy.
Love does not parade itself
I see a people who need to be the first in line and beat their chest to let you know that they are supposed to be at the head of the table. They parade around, showing off their superiority.
Is not puffed up
I see a people who are not able to be in second place; they have turned their election into a thing to lord over those around them, and they are at risk of losing it. They are the very definition of ‘puffed up’.
Does not behave rudely
I see a people who can’t help but seek to cut you down and call you names if you disagree with them. They see scoffing as a virtue. They see insults as a way to win arguments. They are the rudest of the rude.
Does not seek its own
I see a people who are so offended at the thought of ‘suffering’ that they run away from all of the people who disagree with them and sit in the stew of their own hatred with only those who agree with them to surround them. They seek their own and won’t suffer anyone else.
Is not provoked
I see a people who are aroused to anger at even the thought that someone disagrees with them. I see a people who feel attacked at the very mention of a different point of view. They are the most easily provoked people I see.
Thinks no evil
I see a people who focus on the malice all around them, and plan their actions based on the evil they see. They think about evil before they think about good, and their actions are solely based on all of the evil they see.
Does not rejoice in iniquity
I see a people who make light of the sinful ways of their leaders, while being sure to tell you how full of sin those they disagree with are. They rejoice in the iniquity of others, while making excuses for the iniquity of their own.
Rejoices in the truth
I see a people who love to twist facts in order to make their points. It doesn’t matter so much to them that their ‘facts’ are right, so long as there’s a scent of truth to them and it helps them win an argument. They do not rejoice in the truth, unless it’s a truth that agrees with them.
Bears all things
I see a people who positively can’t endure anything in their life which they don’t agree with, and they’ll let you know all about it, all the time. They are unable to bear anything uncomfortable.
Believes all things
I see a people who look for conspiracies at every turn and won’t be bothered with hearing how there could be a different way of looking at it. They would rather seek out reasons to not believe before even testing with Scripture.
Hopes all things
I see a people who doesn’t have a hope that good things can come out of things they disagree with, as if God isn’t powerful enough to work all things for good. They are tragically hopeless and have no faith in the power of God.
Endures all things
I see a people whose roots are so flimsy that the slightest breeze blows them over. I see a people whose foundation is cracked and their framework is termite ridden. This people cannot, and will not, endure real persecution, should they ever see it.
Where Do We Go From Here?
People of God, we need to be willing to repent of our unloving ways. We have left our first love and it’s obvious to the world around us. They want nothing to do with our King because of the way that we’re representing Him.
So often, in the Christian community, I hear, “if you’re being persecuted then you must be doing something right.” Well, while it’s true that we should be willing to enter into persecution for the sake of our allegiance to the King, sometimes we’re not being persecuted so much as mocked, and we’re mocked because of our poor representation of our King. It’s not because we’re doing something right, but because our hypocrisy is more evident than our love (if our love is even visible at all).
My heart is breaking.
My heart is breaking because His heart is breaking.
Return to your first love. Find the Jesus who shattered the chains in your life. Yes, be zealous for righteousness, but do it like Jesus. The only people He ever got a temper with were the supposed religious (us), not the sick and hurting. Right now, we are acting like the Pharisees whom he called hypocrites and vipers.
Remember the Jesus who saved you. Remember the Jesus who loved you when you were unlovable. Remember the Jesus who reached out to you and brought you into the fold when you didn’t even know you were lost. Remember that Jesus, and model yourself after Him.
Love. Never. Fails.
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