We throw the word ‘love’ around loosely, leaving it to be defined in many different ways. People say things like ‘I love cake,’ or ‘I love that TV show.’ What they really mean is they ‘like’ and ‘enjoy’ these things. To love someone is to pursue their well-being and make it a priority. The Bible gives us a pretty extensive definition of love. ‘Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always ‘me first,’ doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end’ (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 MSG). That kind of love may sound impossible, after all humans can be selfish. It can be a challenge to put someone else’s interests above our own, make sacrifices for them, not keep holding on to past hurts, forgive and look for the best in someone else. But with God helping us we can show others this kind of love. Sometimes we might not struggle with loving others because we love ourselves too much, but because we don’t love ourselves enough. If we don’t love ourselves, we can’t love others well. We need to know that we’re loved by God, and that we’re worthy of love just as we are. Once we’re secure in that, we’ll be in a great place to love others well. We’ll be able to show them our love, and also point them to the God who loves them more than we ever could.
Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 every morning for the next week. Pray that you would be able to show this kind of love in all your relationships.