We are called to live out love in action. And in doing so, we are answering the call of God.
But how do we really love others like we are called? What does love in action look like?
On my best day, I love others in a way that I know Jesus would. But on my worst day, my attitude is one that leaves me feeling embarrassed.
Loving others when your reserves are empty proves to be both difficult and exhausting.
So what do you do with verses like 1 Corinthians 13? Love is patient, love is kind, love does not envy. What about the days where my patience is zapped and my hope falters?
How do you love your neighbor as God calls? They are great to read about and comforting to think about, but how do we display these qualities in our lives? Let’s take a look at the first three.
Love is patient
Patience is not something that can be mustered up in a hurry.
It speaks to where you heart rests. It's something that takes constant renewal. In God’s grace, we find patience.
When I find myself losing patience, I grow more frustrated in my failure. This turns on itself and causes even less patience. What does God say about all this? Patience is a result of the Holy Spirit within us.
Do you see the immense comfort in that statement? It isn’t something we muster up in a hurry.
Patience is the Holy Spirit within us.
As we learn to live according to the Spirit in us, patience will result. And as we learn to deny our sinful nature, the Spirit will guide our hearts to a place of rest. In that rest, we find patience.
Love is kind
Kindness, like patience, is a fruit of the spirit. Kindness flows from a resting heart.
Many times when I lose my patience, kindness is soon to follow.
However, kindness is not merely an attitude. It is an action.
From a resting heart, we feel patience. We may even display that patience to others in our attitudes.
However, kindness is more than a feeling. We must act in kindness to those around us.
Kindness is a direct result of the Spirit within us. It is a reflection of God’s love to us that we emanate to others.
Love does not envy
Envy takes the focus off of our own blessings and places it on another’s.
The problem with this is that God’s grace extends to us in love. He blesses us out of love.
When we spend our time focused on another’s blessings, we deny our own. We deny God the joy and thankfulness of His love towards us.
If we can learn to understand the depth of His love for us, we begin to focus on gratefulness.
How can we understand the love that our Father showers us with when we are focused on His gifts to another child? We cannot always see the reason for another’s blessing, but keep in mind the hardship they may have faced or may be asked to face. God blesses us according to our needs and we must rely on our inability to understand the bigger picture.
He loves us infinitely and because of this, we can find contentment in the blessings he pours out on our own lives.
As you consider these qualities of love, take time to ask the Holy Spirit to fill your heart. God's Spirit will work in you to renew your heart and to fill you with godly love.
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