Most folks in our world look at love as a feeling. We “fall” in love. I am looking for my “soul mate”. Love has become an emotional thing. As we all know, the emotional part of our being is the weakest, most inconsistent, fallible part of who we are. If you look at scripture, you discover that love is not the “Hallmark thing” that our world has reduced it to be.
Studying the New Testament, you learn the Biblical view of love. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, you find 15 characteristics that are a result of love in action. To produce these characteristics, you will conclude each of these cannot be produced by emotions. They are created by an act of our will day-by-day, moment-by-moment being submissive to the Lord allowing His Spirit to produce these in and through our life. Paul the Apostle challenges us in Ephesians 5:18 to “be constantly filled with the Spirit.” Romans 6:13 exhorts us to “offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” Love is a choice and comes as a result of a person being intentional on a daily basis.
Take a look at each of these 15 characteristics of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and score yourself 1-5 (1 “being really bad at it” and 5 “being very good at it”).
4 Love is patient __, love is kind __. It does not envy __, it does not boast __, it is not proud_ _. 5 It does not dishonor others __, it is not self-seeking __, it is not easily angered __, it keeps no record of wrongs __. 6 Love does not delight in evil __ but rejoices with the truth _. 7 It always protects __, always trusts __, always hopes __, always perseveres __.
God wants you to love like Christ and will help you work this out in your life. Philippians 2:12b and 13 declares, “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Working with the Lord, become a great lover who glorifies His name!