“4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Cor. 13:4-8
The two greatest commandments require us to love God with everything we can muster and to love our neighbors as ourselves. What is it about love that makes it so special and necessary?
According to Paul’s definition, love encompasses and controls all of a man’s thoughts and actions. The more we love the more we are like God; the less we love, the less were are. We follow His lead and learn from Him. “We love, because He first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19). God wants His children to be loving in this world. This means that we do righteousness and avoid sin. Paul said it “does not act unbecomingly.” Because God is holy, we are to be also. Anyone who acts unbecomingly cannot be in the presence of God.
And being like God, take pleasure in truth and righteousness because it matters what we love, not just that we love. To love means the Christian has a strong sense of right and wrong. If a child of God were to love sin, He would set himself in opposition to God. If you love God, you love the things of God and despise evil. A person filled and controlled by godly love “does not rejoice in unrighteousness“.
It’s not enough to love the lovable for anyone can do that. Jesus taught in the sermon on the mount to “love your enemies” and to give to others without expecting a reward. Only if we do this are we beginning to act like our Heavenly Father who also loved us when we were helplessly lost and living lives hostile to His way. Paul wrote the following to the Gentile Christian in Ephesus: “4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (Eph. 2:4-6). Since God could love us enough to have His only begotten die in our place, we can love anybody.
The love of God in us makes us to accomplish His will. According to the definition in Corinthians, he says love is patient and kind and is not jealous. Because God’s love is practical, God’s ambassadors and missionaries are best when they care about souls. Jesus came to seek and to save the Lost (Luke 19:10). That was His mission and He showed the way to love and save the world with His Gospel. Paul said, “Speak the truth in love”. It may sound unreasonable to some, ludicrous to others, or just plain impractical, but God wants us to love so we may save souls.