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How Does Love Behave

How Does Love Behave

Words of Faith 7-20-17

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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1 Corinthians 13

   [4] Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. [5] It is not rude, 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.

 

         What is this love? The word agape reflected the highest form of love in Greek thought, a purely benevolent love that is not selfish in any way. This became the word in New Testament Greek for the love of God. Actually, God's nature and person are identified as agape-- God is love (1 John 4:8). God is not "loving" but rather He "is love". He is the ultimate definition of this highest form of love. Therefore, what He does is always love.

         But what about us? Three different times Jesus gave the command to love one another. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (John 13:34, 15:12, 15:17). This is what it is all about. We are to love one another.

       Paul exhorted the believers in Rome: "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law" (Romans 13:8). He wrote to the Thessalonians that this is something that the Spirit of God teaches us to do: "Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other" (1 Thes. 4:9).

       Peter urged believers "to have sincere love for one another-- love one another deeply, from the heart" (1 Peter 1:22). And the Apostle John repeatedly instructed believers that love is the key sign of life in a believer. "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God" (1 John 4:7, 3:11,3:23, 4:11-12).

         But what does that look like? How does love behave?

         Love may do a wide variety of things. Sometimes love opens a door, but sometimes it closes a door. Sometimes love gives spare change, but other times it buys a sandwich. Sometimes love binds up a painful wound, but other times it delivers a painful wound that is necessary (Proverbs 27:6). Love is not any one defined action. Wisdom and truth will dictate the action. Love is the manner, spirit, and motivation in which an action is delivered.

         Paul wrote to the Ephesians that "speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ" (Eph. 4:15). Some truth is difficult to deliver but it is always spoken in love even if it is difficult. We are never directed to speak "a lie in love", but we are carefully directed to be sure that when we speak the truth it is in love.

         So what will that look like? Love is patient. It is forbearing and able to "suffer long". It is not rushed or motivated to move someone faster than they are able. Love is kind. It is "usefully benevolent". The manner in which an action is delivered tells its true benevolence. Bread thrown at a hungry beggar to get them away is not a gift of love.

         What does love NOT look like? It is does not envy; it does not burn with covetous jealously. It is not motivated by selfish envy. It does not boast; it does not lift itself in bragging pride. It is not rude; it does not behave in an uncomely or unseemly manner. It is not self-seeking; it does not place itself above all others.

          Love is not easily angered. It knows the proper place and manner of righteous anger but even that anger comes slowly. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not keep a short list or a long list to drag out batter another person with.

           Love does not delight in evil but instead rejoices with the truth. Love does not gleefully applaud the fall of another or celebrate that someone got there comeuppance. Love, by its nature always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love seeks to rebuild trust when it has been broken. Love hopes for restoration when there has been damage. Love perseveres when things are difficult.

           Love always protects. Love protects the weak. Love shelters and gives safety. Love will lay down its life for a friend. Love also protects dignity. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet. 4:8).

 

       Father God, teach me how to love like You do. Help me to see and learn from the example of Jesus. Help me to walk in love and in wisdom. In Jesus' Name.