I just read through 1 Corinthians 13. I wrote down some thoughts as I looked at each phase in verse 4-6. It's extremely helpful and practical!
God is love. Anything that is not consistent with HIS DEFINITION of love is not love. The world hates absolutes, but God is absolute. His word is absolute. His actions are absolute.
I hope you get something from this, because it's really amazing (His word that is).
Verse 4-6 - Love:
- Suffers long - the very nature of God who is love, is longsuffering. He is graciously waiting for us to return to Him.
- Is Kind - considers others, is mild and showing kindness, it will be contrasted in later verses.
- Does not envy - true love is not envious. God has no reason to envy us, but He is jealous FOR us!
- Does not parade itself - love does not walk around pompously, vaunting itself as great and wonderful. True love does not need to do that. It’s proof is evident in everything it does. Contrast this with the way lust parades and elevates itself. What we see in media is rarely true love. Lust promotes itself as love when it is not. See the pride parades as the vaunts themselves as “in love,” love does not parade itself!
- Is not puffed up - it’s not filled with hot air. It’s not swollen with pride or inflated.
- Does not behave rudely - It [love] does not demand its own way. Such a beautiful picture! True love is not demanding of self and its “rights.” It gives. We must not limit ourselves to our human understanding of love. We must strive to know God, who is love. Love does not behave rudely, as disciples we should not be rude. But must never shy away from the truth or showing others who the truth is.
- Love is not irritable or provoked - It does not have a sharpness of spirit or irritation. Love is not irritated when things take time, it’s not irritated by the lack of love in the world.
- Love thinks no evil - it literally does not take an account or ledger of evil. When we keep a ledger of those who have wronged us, that is not love that’s unforgiveness and bitterness. The idea here is that love is not waiting to settle accounts with the ones who wronged us. Love forgives! Think about this in our relationship with Jesus, if He kept an account of our evil! His love has wiped our ledger clean.
- Does not rejoice in iniquity - It’s as plain as day. TRUE LOVE does not celebrate, nor is glad with iniquity. Iniquity means injustice (specifically of a judge), but more poignantly and practical it refers to unrighteousness of the heart and life. Too many believers are celebrating injustice and unrighteousness, thinking they are showing love. True love does not celebrate iniquity. But…
- Rejoices in the truth - Love takes part in another’s joy and rejoices together when those things are in direct relationship to THE TRUTH. Jesus is the truth, His word is the truth. We rejoice in Him with others!
- The definition of truth goes so far as to delineate the truth as opposed to superstitions of gentiles, inventions of jews, corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers EVEN among christians.
- The truth is whatever the bible says completely about a subject. Not our out of context opinions or precepts.
- Love rejoices when truth wins out