Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Love is patient… slow to anger

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered… 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Even in judgment, God’s patience is evident.  He has every right to be angry with us and to write us off, yet over and over again He forgives our failures and opens His arms to welcome us back.  But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness and truth. …Psalm 86:15
Love is patient because love does not demand that people be anything more than they are.  It accepts people where they are but does not descend to their level. Love peels away the impatience and frustration that we so often feel when we are dealing with other human beings.  Love doesn’t take away our feelings of frustration but it helps us react in a different way.
Love is kind …
Kindness is characterized by the desire to do good to others. A kind person automatically wants to help others and to do so with sympathy and consideration. Godly love will make a person kinder. No one can be loving and unkind at the same time.  
and is not jealous
Proverbs 14:30
says, Envy rots the bones.  When we want what others have and we are not grateful for what we have been given, we are only hurting ourselves.  God’s desire is for us to love others and not envy them.  True love – love that comes from God – is happy for others when they are blessed.  There is no room for jealousy.  True love is not selfish or self-seeking.  True love’s desire is to meet the needs of others.
Love does not brag and is not arrogant…
True love does not brag because true love is not focused on self.  It is not selfish but more concerned with taking care of loved ones and meeting their needs.  A braggart is full of himself, broadcasting his own accomplishments and too focused on himself to even notice anyone else.  Love shifts our focus outward.  A person with Godly love will magnify others, focus on their needs and offer help with no thought of being repaid. 
Love does not act unbecomingly…( is not rude)
The opposite of rudeness is respect and good manners.  When we care about people we will treat them respectfully and we will have good manners around them because we do not want to hurt their feelings or offend them in any way.  Our words and actions reflect the love of Christ in our hearts.  People will notice and God will be glorified through our behavior.
Love does not seek its own…
Love is always considerate of others and their needs above their own if needed.  It is not selfish or self-centered.  When we love others we seek what is best for them and we put their needs above our own. 
Love is not provoked… (not easily angered)
We have already discovered that love is patient which means that love cannot be easily angered either.  Love helps us to have mercy and grace for the people we love.  If we truly love with the love of God, we are compassionate and kind.  Love is not prone to jump to conclusions about others, seek revenge or hastily judge. Love graciously grants second chances.  (And third, fourth, etc…)
Love does not take into account a wrong suffered…
Love does not keep a record of wrongs.  It does not record hurts or injustice.  There is risk involved with all love.  If you love someone, you will hurt.  Pain is part of love, but resentment and revenge are not.  God calls us to forgive those who seek forgiveness and let the past stay in the past.  He forgives us and never thinks on our sin again.  We need to forgive others the way we want to be forgiven.

Scripture to Claim:
 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”  1 John 4:7

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