Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends (1 Corinthians 13:4–8a, ESV).
What does real love look like? The Apostle Paul tells us . . .
“Love is patient.” It waits for people to change. It’s long-tempered. It accepts people as they are, not as we want them to be.
Love is “kind.” This doesn’t mean passive endurance but active goodwill. Not just passively accepting people but actively accepting people. Not just standing on the other side of the room, thinking, She drives me nuts—I’m going to steer clear of her, but actually going across the room and finding ways to engage or embrace that person. Love looks for ways to express acceptance to people whom we might otherwise target with our harsh criticism.
“Love does not envy or boast.” Love is not jealous. Even when those around us seem to prosper and succeed more than we do, love isn’t jealous. Love does not say, “I was fine with my friend until she got _____.” Love does say, “I am happy for your successes and will not let jealousy sour my love for you,” and “I am for you. I have always been for you, and I will always be for you. I will not be caught up in comparisons, even when you are more successful, prominent, recognized, or rewarded than I am. I want the best for you.”
When you love the people in your life, you won’t let their successes—or yours—change the way you treat each other. When you’re the successful person, do you continue to love the same people, or do you leave them behind? Love “is not arrogant or rude.” Love chooses not to make another feel uncomfortable by boasting about personal success or highlighting your own life in a way that would embarrass or belittle a friend.
By Walk in the Word
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