Love Defined

5d64c78dadff343e331d53acb9f578eaMickey Strong was born in Indianapolis, IN and has served in full-time ministry for 11 years. He graduated from Metropolitan College of Theology with a Bachelors Degree in Biblical Studies. He started working for Boise Bible College’s Admissions Office November 2015 as the Admissions Counselor. His hobbies include playing various sports, and spending time with his wife Julie and son Cayden.

“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.” 1st Corinthians 13:4-7

Can you smell it? Love is in the air! Ah, the toothpaste filled chocolates and red roses, the cards with beautifully written poems from someone else’s heart that we buy for our loved one! It’s a beautiful time for all. Valentine’s Day has always been a funny holiday for me. When I was a teenager if I had a girlfriend I would usually break up with her a few days before Valentine’s Day, and then tell her how I made a huge mistake a few days after . . . all to avoid spending money. Romantic I know, but what can I say I’m just a romantic at heart! Valentine’s Day is really a day where we show that special person in our life that we love them. We take a day to do a little bit extra to show them how much we care.

However, as I think about love and the way it is used in our everyday life I get a bit confused. See, when I read 1st Corinthians 13:4-7 I see a description of love. I see Paul telling us what love is supposed to look like and I don’t see this kind of love in most relationships. 1st Corinthians 13:4 says “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” This verse starts off with something most of us struggle with patience. I for one am not a very patient person, but the Bible is saying that when you truly love someone you are patient. The next three I can honestly say I am pretty good at showing, but then we hit the “proud”. Ask yourself how many times has your pride gotten into the way of your relationship? I know my pride has really hurt people that I love. Have you ever been in an argument where you refused to acknowledge that you were wrong? God tells us in order to truly love we must not be proud.

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The very next verse says, “ It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” This is a hard verse for most of us. How many times have we put others down or did things that were selfish for our own gain, not thinking about the other person? How easy is it to become angry with the person you love? Have you ever let your anger get the best of you? And last but not least, how good are you about not bringing up the past when you are upset? Think about this one. God is telling us that we are not to keep records of wrongs. I used to have hard time with this and would even question God. However, isn’t that exactly how He loves us? Forgiving us of our past sins and giving us a second chance.

Next, Paul says, “ Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” Can you say that your love rejoices in the truth? Is your love built around the truth? God wants you to build your relationship around His truth, not the worlds.

We end with, “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”flags @ ICOM1 Do you protect the one you love? Not just physically but spiritually? Are you doing whatever it takes to make sure that the devil has no hold on your love or relationship? Do you trust? Are you forgetting the past and trusting the one you love? Love always hopes, and always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 describes for us what love should look like in our everyday life. He wants your love to be set apart from the world. So, let’s love that special person or people in our lives a little extra on Valentine’s Day with the love described by Paul, and the love God shows us every day.

May the love you demonstrate show the world how great our God is!

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