Today, we will look at the most familiar part of this chapter. It is four verses that describe everything that love is…and everything that it is not. I find this most interesting to have the two descriptions side by side. There is no room for misinterpretation. Love is…and love is not. Let’s look at the full chapter, and break down the what is and what is not in our observation.
13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
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. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
This is what love is
- rejoices with the truth
- always protects
- always trusts
- always hopes
- always perseveres
And this is what love is not
- keeps record of wrongs
- delights in evil
- dishonoring to others
- easily angered
As my final observation, I just want to say that God is love. This entire study has shown us the love He has for us. This lists above fully describe what God is to us because He Himself is love!
We must love without conditions, the way God loves us without conditions. God loves us exactly for who we are…at this very moment in time. There is nothing that we can do to earn it. Love isn’t earnable. Love is the most beautiful action we can show someone. When I’m envious, or want to boast, if I’m proud, or hold grudges, or wish for revenge, dishonor others to hurt, do something that is in my own self interest, or become easily angry…then I’m not showing love!
Jesus is my example of how to live my life. Therefore, there is no one that isn’t worthy of the love God has given me to share. Do everything in love for there is no better happiness than giving. God loves us, so if we want others to come to know Him, then we must do as He does and as He is…and He is love.
Lord, thank You for the unconditional love You show me every single day! You show Yourself to me in ways I often overlook, because I am looking for a return. You’ve taught me that love is to be given freely, as Your love is given freely to me. Lord, help me to realize that everything You are is how I should act towards others, for they will never find You if I am not acting without self-interest, or expecting something in return.
Lord, thank You for never ceasing Your love over me. May my heart be open to accept Your love and may I never withhold it from others. For it is not mine to keep, but can only be experience by giving it away freely. I pray in Jesus’ Name, who showed me the ultimate price of what love costs; His life, so that I could know You. Thank you for loving me that much! Amen.