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The Bible

         Love Defined

 

Do I exude a forbearing spirit that enables me

to listen and care for those around me?
Love does not insist on its own schedule and time constraints.
People, especially hurt people, can absorb much time.
The patient person trusts God with his very limited time.
Love
also is able to rightly treat all sorts of people We tend to expect
people to listen to us the way we are used to, but often this does not
work out that way.
The patient person trusts God for wisdom to kindly care for each person.

Am I always nice and caring toward other people?

Love is kind. We might think this needs not to be said but after a careful examination of what is done in the name of love,

we are wise to measure love only with the measuring cup called kindness.

If a person is not kind, he simply is not loving.

Am I jealous of the attention others get?

When jealousy springs forth, we must rule out the possibility of love.

Some would say that love is jealous because it wants and desires another
person. However, true love gives up their right to another person's
attention.

Love instead commits itself to bringing benefit to the other person.

Do I tell about my great accomplishments?
Once a person brags, the object of discussion is despised and seen as a utensil to be used.

Bragging exalts oneself and looks down on others.

Love requires a person to see good things in others and more often is silent when nothing quickly could be found.

Do I think better of myself than others?
While bragging speaks of ones accomplishments, arrogance is found in the mind.

Arrogance will shed its undesired fruit through glances, attitudes, comments, sleight of hand, and general treatment of others.

Love prefers the respect of others over ones selfish desires.

Do I act strangely to attract the attention of others?
Unbecoming ways are ones in which they oddly attract attention to themselves.

Odd or rude behavior attracts the notice of other people.

Drawing attention to ourselves is the opposite to love where we would draw attention to the people in need. We focus on others.

Do I seek the things that I like more than the things others like?
When we seek our own welfare, we upset our ability to love.

Love is seeking the welfare of others. If we prefer ourselves, then we will give ourselves preferential treatment.

We will even lie, cheat, backbite, slander, etc. to serve our own needs.

How do we respond to those who trouble us?
True love is not easily shaken. Pretend love quickly changes its position.

It is unable to live by principle when he lives for himself. We are in someway inconvenienced when provoked.

Our pride is at least attacked. Love's determination is not changed.

Do I quickly forgive others and refuse bitterness?
Love does not get bitter. Wounded, hurt and mistreated it might be, but love will always forgive.

She does not store up memories of wrong or plan for revenge.

Love wipes the account of wrongs each day to enable her to keep caring for the needs of others.

Do I delight in virtual sensuality or violence?
Whether we or others engage in evil behavior, those with a true loving heart will never rejoice.

We see delight in the evil behavior of others.

They think they are innocent because of it, but virtual delight in evil is association with it.

Love is not present there.

Do I like applause and try to impress people or welcome the truth?
Love might be humbled by the truth but it still finds its deepest allegiance is for the truth.

Love is not preferential to a person so that it will thwart the truth.

Love's companion is truth where the light shines brightly and lies and unfaithfulness are broken apart.

What difficult things have I braved so far in my life that I might continue to love?
Easily provoked refers to little trifles in personal conflict such as in sibling or marriage relationships.

By bearing all things, love can withstand the great shocks of rudeness, sin and absolute depravity.

Out of the muddy waters comes the white lily flower.

Am I able to look to God for help, strength and renewal for each difficult situation I meet?
This is not referring to today's toleration or ecumenism,

but its innocent approach to life and people.

She is protected from the pessimism of the age and enabled to treat each person full of respect and hope.

Do I treat each relationship and person with hope despite its ugly past?
Love is not blind utopia but following from her faith,

she is able to look ahead at the special opportunities that each relationship brings each day.

She lives in the hope of God that God's grace can yet shine into the darkest places.

What things do I prize and am unwilling to give up?
Love endures because God's love in Christ has endured.

Our love in itself is limited but when God's love fills us, then nothing can stop it.

God's love endures shame, reproach, evil, humility just as God's love in
Christ pursued all these things so that we could receive that love.

Am I confident of God's final penetrating love?
There are no periods with God's love.

God's love does not stop with the sunset or begin with the new week.

Divine love will always continue throughout time and eternity.

In the darkest of nights, there will always be the eternal light of God's love.

Love will outshine hatred and penetrate the most vile evil with sacrifice.