1Corinthians 13: 4-7: “4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. 6 It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
Paul was adamant about love and the love that a Christ-follower should display. This description of what love is and what love is not is the gold standard for the Christian life. It is what propels us and drives us. It is the essence of the Christian life. Have you ever done something or said something that was not lovely? Did you then have someone pointedly say, “That wasn’t very Christian of you.” Why would someone say that to you? Because they know that in our own minds we know how a Christ-follower should act, talk, and what should be our driving force.
We are commanded to love. It is not a suggestion or a proposal; it is a directive from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If we do not love the way the bible tells us to love, we are sinning. It does not matter if you are the “loving” type or if you feel like loving today; you are called to love no matter what. Love is not a spiritual gift that God gives to some and not others. Love is a spiritual fruit; it is proof that I have Jesus in my heart. A Spirit-filled Christ-follower will display the Love of Jesus. Love should be the spiritual thermometer in our lives. Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. . . ” Which means when I am right with God love should be the quality that people see in me. Love is no good that stays inside your self. It is like the father that says, “Of course, I love my kids”, but fails ever to show them that love. That “love” is useless. God gives us love to reach out to others. If we fail to do that then we fail to do what is commanded.
If I love others it may cause me some pain and cost me some tears. That is true when we open our hearts to others; it leaves us vulnerable. Love costs us something every time. Love caused Jesus to die on a cross for our sins. Love is costly, yet necessary.