People often look for signs of love in the words and behaviours of those around them. But what exactly is love? Is love a box of chocolates, a steamy kiss, or beautiful-sounding words? Love may be expressed in gifts, but genuine love goes deeper. A lot of what is passed off for love may actually have very little to do with love at all. Loving words and loving behaviours can often mask ulterior motives.
Since no one wants to be fooled into giving away their heart to someone who really doesn’t love them, it’s so important to know what love is and what it isn’t. On the other hand, it’s important to realize that no one is perfect and even the most loving people can say unloving words and act in unloving ways from time to time. When that happens, remember, to forgive is divine.
Love is Patient and Kind
According to 1 Corinthians 13: 4, love is “patient and kind”. In today’s fast-paced society, what a precious virtue patience is. Patience is developed by practice through faith. For those who rely upon the Lord and trust that God’s timing is perfect, patience can be seen in the placid countenance and unruffled demeanour amidst the chaos of life.
Patience is a Rare Virtue
What Love Is Not
1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 6 also defines what love is not. According to this passage, love is not jealous , boastful, proud, rude, demanding, irritable or grudge-bearing. All these things proceed from a selfish heart and if there’s one thing that love is not, it is not selfish. Selfishness manifested in the sins listed above quenches love and brings out the worst in others.
The Greatest Commandment is "Love"
The antidote for selfishness is love to God and to others. According to Matthew 22: 37 – 39, Jesus said, “’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (NLT)