“Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth,”
1 Corinthians 13:4-6 KJV
What does it mean that love suffers long? How can we as humans have this kind of love as the apostle Paul describes here in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, which is known as the love chapter in the Bible. I once heard an actress say, “it is impossible to stay in love.” Does love have no value today in the world? And yet, humans need love. I still remember The Beatles song, “All you Need is Love.”
There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
It’s easy, All you need is Love
I’m not sure if it is easy, since many find it difficult to obtain and keep it. Love is more than just the physical biological act. Love is built on trust, truth, and forgiveness. In the world today love has many symbols such as hearts, rings, and roses. If we look at a diamond ring, it signifies uniqueness, worth, timeless, and eternity. Every human being desire is to be unique because it is an inherited gift of God that each person has a function within the community. Just think about it in the song lyrics, “there’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.” We are a part of God’s creation. We are meant to be, or take part in this universe we live in, and love is the key that holds it together. Love creates the value of an individual person and it is lasting and timeless, because it is a blessing that the individual shares with others. Do we not have a purpose in life?
What was the Apostle Paul explaining to the Corinthian church in the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians? I have seen many weddings were these words from 1 Corinthians are often spoken to convey the meaning of what love is, yet it is often forgotten in a couple of years, when those who have taken wedding vows split up and go their separate ways. The first question we ask is what happened? Maybe the actress was right in saying it is impossible to stay in love, but with God, all things are possible. So, what is the missing link in the meaning of what love is?
First, The Apostle Paul was speaking to Christians on the value of love and the fact that love is unselfish acts towards others. There is no glory in any one individual person’s gifts or acts of compassion if love is not displayed. There is no profit or gain when nothing is done in love because self is on display. It is like a child who has a temper tantrum because they can not get their own way. Is it any wonder that Paul states that when he became a man, he put away childish things, [see verse 11 of 1 Corinthians]. It is like fighting over who got the best gift on Christmas day, which is rather childish. Therefore, it is a lot of annoying noise that is not pleasant to hear.
Second, the key to love is forgiveness. We as humans seem to lose sight of forgiveness. Unforgiveness breeds bitterness, and bitterness breeds hatred. This is opposite of what love is, which is kindness, helpfulness, and not being envious of what others have. If a person cannot forgive others how will our Heavenly Father forgive them. [see Matthew 6:12-13]. If our Lord died for our sins because of His love for us, we should in love forgive others in what they have done to us personally. We must ask our Heavenly Father to help us forgive others and to bring healing into our lives. This is done through the work of the Holy Spirit. We need God’s love to help us through our own sufferings.
Third, Christ is the answer, for He bridged the gap to open the door to the Heavenly Father. Love and forgiveness are united in bringing us hope that His love will prevail above all else, no matter what the circumstances. We must believe and have faith that His love will prevail. Each person must experience God’s love for themselves.
“But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” Psalms 86:15
We must know our God in the same way as King David exclaims in Psalms 86:15. We must come to God and ask forgiveness of our own selfishness, bitterness, and hatred. We must know God’s mercy in our life and how long-suffering our God is. We must pray to God to help us in our own actions. We must not forget Christ love for each of us and that when we receive Him into our heart, there is forgiveness when ask for it. When God’s love permeates our heart we are changed. Our eyes are open and we begin to understand the human condition because we see our own weaken condition. If anyone says they love God and hates their own brother, the scripture says,they are a liar, for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.1 John 4:9
Christian author Andrew Murray stated that selfishness can not love. It is selfishness that gets every human being into trouble. We need someone to save us from ourselves. God sent us his only begotten Son to pave the way towards love. This is the way to make peace with who we are, as well as with others. Take time everyday to pray that God’s love will rule your heart and to learn to live daily in His Love.