Scripture Reading: Song of Songs 5:1-8:14 / 1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13 / Psalm 100
I am expecting my first grandchild in a few months and am anxiously waiting for her arrival. My children have been wonderful and I have been told that grandchildren are even better. A great thing about grandchildren is that you can play, spoil, and love on them and then when they cry and throw temper tantrums - send them home with your children!
Of course the love that a grandparent has is not shallow as they are very aware of the challenges of human nature. Love is not an overwhelming emotion but a choice. It is not solely based upon feelings nor does it fluctuate in depth or degree. Love is solid, deliberate and designed to be faithful. God is the author of love and Christ is the example of love!
After explaining the gifts of the Spirit, Paul speaks of love as being the most excellent of God’s ways. If love is absent from our lives, the greatest of talents, deeds and success will be for naught. Love is the key to fulfillment, peace, relationships and abundance. Without love…we are nothing.
Paul writes, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
As we can see, our concept of love fails in comparison to God’s description of love. True love does not grow impatient or unkind. It does not respond with frustration, callousness or resentment but is understanding, benevolent, and supportive. A person who truly loves will not be self-serving but self-sacrificing. They will not be given to short sightedness or a short temper. They are forgiving and are not vengeful or hold grudges.
Paul says that love ALWAYS protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. What a message for our society today! Love doesn’t change and “love never fails”. (vs.8) Our love is not to be conditional or reciprocal. It is to be unconditional and given even if it isn’t returned. Love is not blind but hopeful and trusting. It is a wall of protection around our hearts and the persevering agent of our wills.
Is this type of love attainable? It cannot be attained by worldly standards and pursuits but by divine intervention and strength. When we see as He sees and feel as He feels, we will love as He loves. This type of love is not the standard of this world but the highest quality of heaven. This love never fails and is the most excellent way to live…and love!