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Love Always Perseveres, The Behavior of Love, Part 5

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13: 6-7

The deeper we get into this passage, the harder it gets. Paul’s use of always — really applies the pressure. He doesn’t give us any wiggle room.

Behavior of Love #13 – Love always trusts

As babies, we trust, naturally dependent on our parents to provide our needs.

However, over time, that trust gives way to skepticism and doubt. Why? Because we experience the disappointment of lies, deception, broken promises, and shattered dreams. We still want to trust, but approach it with caution.

As we mature in the faith, we become discerning about matters of right and wrong. We are given insight and understanding of God’s word. When balanced with Paul’s teachings, it is clear that he is telling us to give people the benefit of the doubt. Don’t allow that “record of wrongs” (previously discussed) to keep us from investing in the lives of others.

Again I say, ALWAYS TRUST but PROCEED WITH CAUTION using God’s word, the illumination given by the Spirit, and a fervent desire to love others.

Paul said, “Love always trusts.” He didn’t say we should approach relationships blindly or stupidly.

To follow this instruction we must be willing to forgive as the Lord forgives. (Colossians 3:13)

My Affirmations on Trusting Always
  • “I always want to be able to trust you.”
  • “I’ll seek never to violate the trust that you have placed in me.”
  • “Just as God has forgiven me, I will endeavor to forgive you and keep no record of wrongs.
  • “God has never given up on me and I will seek to never give up on you.”
  • “I desire our relationship to be built on trust.”

Behavior of Love #14 – Love Always Hopes

Do you hope for the best for others?

Have you ever said, “She had it coming to her?” or “He got what he deserved?”

Truth be told, probably all of us have celebrated the misfortune of another. Due to their misdeeds or hurtful behavior exhibited toward us, they have been assigned to our naughty lists.

Your mean boss gets fired and you rejoice. Your ex-husband’s new marriage falls apart and you celebrate. That kid who ridiculed you in school is in jail and you revel in his suffering.

I confess. I’ve experienced feelings of vindication when my enemies have suffered. But that doesn’t make it right. “Love always hopes,” says Paul. We should want the best for others, overlooking their record of wrongs, and in the true spirit of forgiveness.

The ultimate hope is that everyone we encounter will surrender to Christ, receive God’s gift of eternal life, and live for Him. We hope for redemption — not retribution. Salvation — not damnation. Grace and mercy — and not eternal separation from God.

My Affirmations on Love that Always Hopes
  • “Your dreams are my dreams.”
  • “I will do all I can to keep your hope alive regardless of how tough life may become.”
  • “I’ll be your encourager.”
  • “I will seek to lift you up when you are down.”
  • “I’ll never delight in your misfortune.”

Behavior of Love #15 – Love always perseveres

We have arrived at the 16th quality of Christian love from 1 Corinthians 13. PERSEVERANCE.

Persevering love goes the extra mile, hangs in when the going gets tough, and refuses to give up. It’s the way God loves us unconditionally. Nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God…” (Romans 8:38,39)

Dolly Parton wrote and performed a popular song that makes me cry every time I hear it. I Will Always Love You. Yes, it’s a secular song about lasting love from one person to another. I think of my love for my wife when I hear it. The song reflects love that perseveres, unhindered by time, space, turmoil, hardship, and hurt feelings. It’s tenacious, unyielding, and determined love — no matter what.

God doesn’t expect us to love everybody with the same degree or kind of love. Your spouse, children, family, and close friends are worthy of a special bond of love. But he does expect us to behave lovingly toward everyone. In 1 Thessalonians 3:12, Paul writes, “…and may the Lord cause you to increase and overflow with love for one another and for everyone…”

For our love to persevere, it must increase. For that to happen it will take considerable spiritual growth bathed in prayer, meditation on God’s word, and practice.

Affirmations of Love that Perseveres
  • “I will be there ’til the end.”
  • “I’ll never give up on you.”
  • “I will hang in there with you when we disagree.”
  • “Failure of this relationship is not an option.”
  • “I will be there for you until God takes one of us home.”

There is an old expression, “It’s the thought that counts.” It has application for your expressions of love on Valentine’s Day. Those thoughts should not be superficial or trivial with no more depth of meaning than the paper or box on which the sentiments are written. The kind of love that God wants for his people is not expressed in a candy heart…but comes from the depth of the human heart. The reality of love is expressed daily and is proven by our behavior toward those who we claim to love. What does your behavior reveal about the reality of your love?

Fittingly, Paul wraps up his 16 qualities of love with three powerful words, “Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)

For more on this topic, check out this article: God Guides the Humble

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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