Throughout our lives we’ve heard endless songs about love, we’ve fallen in and out of love, and we’ve yearned for the kind of love that we’ve witnessed in movies and read about in novels. The love most people long for is the kind of love that makes our heart flutter, our spine tingle, and our minds overflow with emotion.
In our memory verse for the week we can learn about a love that lasts, a love that will endure, and a love that is not affected by shifting emotions. Paul says “love is patient.” The Greek word for “patient” literally means, “not to lose heart” or “to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles.” The second word Paul uses to describe “love” is “kind.” Paul says this unique kind of “love,” “does not envy.” The Greek word means, “to be heated or to boil with envy, hatred, anger.” Next, we learn that this “love” that we are encouraged to emulate “does not boast.” Put another way, we don’t put ourselves on full display or make ourselves the center of attention. Last of all, we learn that “love” is “not proud.” Paul uses this Greek word to describe those who are spiritually “puffed up” in other places of the New Testament.
We can’t isolate each of these descriptive words, but rather we must consider them all together if we want to truly learn what loves “is” and “does.” So much of the love we’ve come to hear about and experience today is focused on “me.” If someone does what I want them to do then I will love them. If someone provides for me what I need from them then I will love them. If someone makes me feel good about myself then I’ll love them. And on and on the list goes. The love God desires for us to experience is the kind of love He has shown us—a sacrificial, selfless love that is patient with those who don’t gratify or please us, a love that stoops to serve others instead of demanding that others stoop to serve us. Oh Lord, make us lovers after Your own heart!
1 Corinthians 13:4