Last week, I wrote on "Real Love" and used the writings of Paul in 1 Corinthians 13. In truth, the subject of love is universal, and if all nations and people more fully understood love, perhaps, our lives and the world would be more at peace.
LOVE IS NOT SELF-SEEKING. Love in the King James version of the Bible is translated "Charity." This rendering of love helps the reader understand love's definition and direction: Giving. Love is a commitment of the will for the well-being of others. Love is not coercive or demanding. Love does not seek its own way; rather, it is invitational. The KINGDOM of LOVE includes all who accept this invitation of God's Love and by necessity, includes Jesus Christ, who is the epitome of love.
LOVE IS NOT EASILY ANGERED. Anger is an emotion that allows us to let off some steam. Some people internalize their anger and implode; while others externalize their anger and explode. The key to anger is to maintain control so as to channel the steam of anger into small therapeutic doses, like a pressure valve. Another valued approach is to re-channel the steam of anger into productive activity or personal edification. Remember the admonition about anger, "In your anger, do not sin."
LOVE THINKS NO EVIL. The New International Version translates this verse as, "Love ... keeps no record of wrong." Even though it is hard to do, I have tried to erase my hard-drive of debtors. No good can come from thoughts of retribution or evil planning. If you have been hurt, forgive, forget and give them to the Lord. Let the Lord be your mediator. Love focuses on thoughts of doing good.
LOVE DOES NOT DELIGHT IN EVIL. Not only does love not think evil, it can't stand the sight of evil. Love desires the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), and deplores the unrighteous activities of evil. Love seeks to make right the injustices of this life. Love prays, "Deliver us from evil." Feed good and starve evil. In this way, Love will get stronger and evil will surly die.
LOVE REJOICES IN THE TRUTH. Truth is as real as it gets. When the truth is found, it trumps all other dialogue or ideas. Because truth is fact, it can stand all scrutiny and still prevail. Love wants the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Any attempt to lie in the shadows reveals deception. The truth will set you free.
Many of the world's problems, and our personal problems, are created because we fail to operate in love.
I pray you will take time and memorize this short list of love. And thank you for all of the kind e-mails. To be continued ...
If you have any comments on this column, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.