God is patient and kind; God is not jealous or boastful; God is not arrogant or rude. God does not insist on His own way; God is not irritable or resentful; God does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. God bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. God’s love never ends.
God is synonymous with love. God is love. To know love is to know God. And in order to know God, one must know love. God is all these things we speak of when we speak of love.
Now, let’s look at this passage again. And this time, put your own name in the place of love and in the place of God, and see how this reads now:
(Your name) is patient and kind; (your name) is not jealous or boastful; (your name) is not arrogant or rude. (Your name) does not insist on His own way; (Your name) is not irritable or resentful; (Your name) does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. (Your name) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (Your name’s) love never ends.
When I insert my own name into this chapter, I feel like a hypocrite actually. There is a big gap between how God loves and how I love, or how I behave. I may be patient and kind sometimes, but certainly not all the time. I certainly can be arrogant and rude, irritable and resentful. I often prefer when things go my way and try to insist they do. I don’t always see the good in others, I even celebrate their wrongs. Are there limits to how I love others? Honestly, yes.
First Corinthians is the standard for what we should aspire to be. I should aspire to put my name in these verses and have that be a true statement. In fact, that should be a life goal. For to know God, to really know Him is to know love, and to know what it means to love, one must be able to insert his or her own name into these verses and have them be a true statement. The lesson for today is that we each have something to work on when it comes to love.
Lord, thank You for loving me even when I don’t deserve it. Thank You for giving me an example of what it means to love. Help me to be more patient and kind, to be more humble and less boastful, to be more content and less jealous. Help me to see the good in others and to meet challenges with optimism. Help me to bear all things that come my way, to cling to faith and to hope when life gets hard. Help my love for You to grow each day. May Your love for me never end, neither in this life, or for everlasting life. Amen.
Take one aspect of love and work on it today!