Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
We can do so much that is nullified if it is not done with love.
I like that here, love is defined often by what it is not, or what it doesn't do. Because God knows that we've got a distorted idea of love in our broken world- people want to be happy, feel needed, feel like they own something- a plethora of loves askew. Just 2 years ago I broke at a lyric quoted at me by my then-partner:
- a simple line with crushing implications.
But here God says that He wants us to know real love. The unconditional love that never changes. And His challenge is for us to love like this. My challenge is to use this list as a checklist. In situations day-to-day, asking, am I being patient? Am I being kind? Am I proud here, boasting, or am I envious of this person? Am I doing this for their benefit or secretly mine? Am I protecting or endangering? So often the answer is the wrong one. My love falls short.
His does not.