It’s February once again, and almost everyone knows what that means. It’s the loooooove month. Stores are filled with items that attribute to love. Stuffed animals, fancy chocolates, and red and pink flowers are usually those kinds of things that. But do those things give justice to what the real meaning of love is? I don’t think so. Those things only make the idea of love commercialized. What is love’s real meaning then? We all know the popular “Love” Bible verse, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 – here’s what it says:
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.
8 Love never fails.
You might think that it just describes love in the romantic way. But no, it doesn’t. Remember the saying, “God is love” or “Jesus is love”? It pretty much applies to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 too. So let’s try substituting the word “love” and all pronouns pertaining to it with Jesus.
Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind.
Jesus does not envy, Jesus does not boast, Jesus is not proud.
Jesus does not dishonor others, Jesus is not self-seeking, Jesus is not easily angered, Jesus keeps no record of wrongs.
Jesus does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.
Jesus always protects, always hopes, always perseveres.
Jesus never fails.
It makes perfect sense, right? Jesus is the epitome of perfect love. But what does that mean to us? As Christians one of our main goals is to be good disciples of Christ. We must be able to accomplish what He has called us to do. We reflect the one we follow. How are we to convince others that we are genuine followers of Christ if we do not reflect how He really is? Let’s try this. Replace all the word “love” and pronouns in 1 Corinthians 13:5-8 with your own name. How much of the lines would be true?
__________is patient, __________ is kind.
__________ does not envy__________ does not boast, __________ is not proud.
__________ does not dishonor others, __________ is not self-seeking, __________ is not easily angered, __________ keeps no record of wrongs.
__________ does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.
__________ always protects, always hopes, always perseveres.
__________ never fails.
The best way to express love is to become like the One who is perfect love. By doing so – by being extra patient with your noisy neighbor, being kind to that stranger, not being proud and boastful to your colleagues, not losing your temper with your siblings and so on – we can show to others what true love is like. We can do it with the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the way we act and love. And by that, we’re also fulfilling one of the greatest commandments God has ever told us: Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).