“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly,seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believethall things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” – I Corinthians 13:4-7 KJV
Since Valentine’s Day is approaching, I decided to write on the subject of love. There is no shortage of Scriptures on love and no one is morequalified to speak on the subject than God for we are told that “God is love” (I John 4:8). Frankly, the world seems rather inept to give us atrue explanation of what real love is. Therefore, we turn to the Bible for an accurate view of what love is like and 1 Corinthians 13 is achapter entirely given to the subject. Notice first, that the word love is not used but rather charity in the King James Version. Sometranslations prefer the word love but I like this rendering for it conveys the idea of giving. You can give without loving but you cannot lovewithout giving. Notice how the verses above describe love.
Love is long-suffering. Whenever we act impatient towards another we have ceased to act in love. Love is kind. This is the counterpart ofpatience — patience takes anything from others, kindness will give anything to others. Love is not envious. There are two levels of jealousy.One says, “I want what they have,” the other says, “If I can’t have it, I wish they didn’t have it.” Both are unloving. Love does not vaunt itself,in other words it doesn’t brag. This is the other side of jealousy — trying to make others jealous of what we have. Love is not puffed up; it isnot arrogant. Arrogance is big headed, love is big hearted. Love doesn’t behave unseemly or rudely. When I am rude towards someone I amsaying I don’t love them. Love does not seek her own; it is not selfish. Love is not easily provoked. It guards against being irritated, upset, orangered. Love thinketh no evil. The idea of this phrase in the Greek is to keep account of wrongs suffered. If you keep track of these you’resure to quench love. Love doesn’t rejoice over evil, it is not suspicious or cynical but gives the benefit of the doubt. Even when belief in aloved one is shattered, love still hopes. Love holds fast, it refuses to stop bearing or stop believing, or stop hoping. Love doesn’t give up!
I want you to know that Jesus loves you more than you can imagine and He can teach us to love each other. May God richly bless you andmay you rejoice in the love He has for you.
Pastor Tom Kline
Castlegar Baptist Church