Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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
How do we define love? God chooses not to give a theoretical or psychological explanation. Instead, He describes it with very practical and visible actions. Do this, it is love. Do that, it is not love. Let’s look at the negative things first.
Are you envious or jealous of someone? That is not love. Love would be thankful with them for what they have. Do you brag or boast, or have an inflated pride? That is not love, because you are trying to show yourself better than others or put them down. Do you dishonor someone, treat them rudely? It goes without saying, this is not love. Do you look out for yourself first? Love puts the needs of others before our own. Do you get angry for little or no reason, or hold grudges? You cannot love someone and carry resentment for them inside you. Are you ever happy when an injustice or something bad happens to someone else? Perhaps a lie or gossip? Not only is that not love, but we only should be joyful about things that are true. We should be looking to trust, hope, endure and put up with everything.
Are we patient? That is love. We aren’t simply tolerant, we treat others with understanding and forgiveness. That is true patience. Are we kind? Think about what this small word means. Compassion, gentleness, affection, showing grace. Kindness is visible, seen and genuinely felt by others. Being kind will keep you from all the negative behaviors. Love is kind!