“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.”
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
Love. It might very well be the biggest four letter word you can use (well, biggest nice four letter word 😉 ). You can love your favorite movie or food but you also fall in love with people. The love you express to your family members is probably different than the love expressed to a significant other. Nowadays, radios and TVs talk about if love can be possible between same sex relationships or if it’s specific to a man and a woman. It’s so silly, love is. That it can take on so many small, meaningless meanings but still be so meaningful when said just right. Obviously, I am no expert on love, nor will I ever be. I have never fallen in love, the only real love I have ever experienced (other than the love of my w o n d e r f u l family) is the love of my Heavenly Father. But, with that being said, I wanted to take apart the widely known verse about love. In my own inexperience I feel that, to ever know what love really feels like, I must know what it is I’m looking for.
Love is patient.
Whenever I read that first part, I immediately think of how my dad sits in the kitchen almost every Sunday morning, waiting for my mom to finish getting ready so we can go to church, but I think it’s a little bigger than that. To truly embody love being patient, I think you must let love come patiently. God’s love for us shows this, as he patiently waits in the sidelines to see if we will find Him. He does not get angry when we don’t or impatient as we lose our way, He waits. In order for love to be patient, you must patiently wait for love.
Love is kind.
I believe that when you are kind to someone, it is so much more than just reaching out a helping hand. True kindness is contagious, it cannot be stopped. When one gracious person shows love through kindness, who knows where that will lead. That beautiful, breathtaking kindness is just what God shows to us every single day.
It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud.
When I think of the word love, I think of a white slate, completely uncorrupted by anything dirty or nasty. When I think of words like lie or cheat or envy or boast, I think of these things as dirty and gross. When you do something that holds that dirty meaning out of love, you corrupt or ruin that white slate. Being envious and boastful are love ruiners, not love helpers.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
I love this part of the passage simply because that is God’s love. So immensely pure and simple. So forgiving. I believe this was written to not only give us a glimpse of what God’s love for us looks like but what it looks like when we spread that love. When we chose to honor others, seek others, and become easily forgiving, we are choosing to wipe the white slate of love clean of all the love-ruiners and love like God.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
This one seems to not fit entirely in with the rest of the love-truths, but I think it nearly summaries the whole passage. When you love truly and you choose to look past all the nasty and see only the pure, you are rejoicing in the truth. Just as God does for you, when He so generously wipes your slate clean. I want to love like that. I want to love like no evil exists simply because the true, simple, beautiful things are most fun to rejoice in anyway.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
When you protect, trust, hope, and persevere out of love, you are truly showing love. I believe this because, when you do those four simple things, your are embodying a special, powerful four letter word. You are loving pure. You are loving beautifully. You are loving like God loves.
I said it before and I will said it again, love is huge. The idea of loving like God is big in itself, but the act is so amazingly huge, it cannot be simplified into minuscule words. When we read this, we are called to love like that. No matter our gender or skin color or sexual orientation or anything. We are called to love big. To love purely, simply, and breathtakingly.