Loving others requires active involvement.
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 13:4-7
The first part was about recognizing love. How did that old country/western song go? “I was looking for love in all the wrong places.” Everybody’s looking for love. Verse four tells us what love looks like. Verses five and six tell us what love doesn’t do, transitioning to verse seven which tells us what it does. These are very good things. Notice the word, ‘always’. When Abba says, ‘always’, we can take that to the bank. Here, He says it four times.
It always protects,…..I was reading a post on Facebook by a man saying goodbye to his friend. He and his friend had become close, years ago, during combat and now his friend was dying. In the brief but touching eulogy, he told a story of how he had been strapped to a stretcher, unable to move, when they had come under fire. His friend had covered him with his own body, firing a heavy artillery weapon of which he knew nothing about, to protect him. That is love. It is much more powerful than a sentiment in a card and much deeper than my feelings for chocolate cake. We’ve all heard stories like that. Some of us are honored enough to have personally witnessed or participated in something like that.
…always trusts,…..You cannot love what you cannot trust. Even if that trust is betrayed a thousand times over, it must be extended for the thousand and first time in order for love to exist and thrive. Maybe that makes me gullible. Maybe that makes me look stupid. Maybe that makes me vulnerable to pain, but a life that pulls away from life, is no life at all.
…always hopes,…..What is a basic tactic for weakening a society in preparation for invasion and conquest? Destroy the hope of the people. A group of people who are bound together in hope is a formidable opponent. Hope can stretch the human capacity for suffering far beyond any preconceived speculation.
…always perseveres. “When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always.” ~Mohandas K. Gandhi~ Here is a man who knew what he was talking about. Perhaps there are some who would not agree with my quoting the Mahatma in my ‘Christian’ blog, but so what? Gandhi changed his world through non-violent, loving perseverance. He practiced the most basic of Christ’s teachings and prevailed against the greatest military power in the world of that time. If only Christians could grasp a fraction of this man’s belief in, and understanding of the power of love.
Love will always promote the well-being of another over itself. Always.