The Love Chapter. 1 Corinthians 13. If I began by simply stating, “Love is patient. Love is kind,” you would possibly know most of the rest. Because it is used at various weddings. The words are plastered throughout the year for a number of reasons. At times, it is even used as a Valentine’s message of all the love we should be seeking and desiring.
And it is. The one and only Valentine’s message. If we are remembering the one and only who is the source of this love. The one and only source that can’t be found in any vase of flowers, any box of candy, any sappy Hallmark card, or any case of “butterflies.”
The true Valentine? The example and source of true love? Jesus.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NLT
What Paul describes here is the love shown to us. The love Jesus asked us to show to others.
Love is patient and kind. It waits when it needs to, and moves to serve when led. There were times when Jesus did not act right away. He didn’t run to put out every fire, because he was teaching about faith and trust. However, he always had time to stop for someone in need-even when surrounded by large crowds.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It doesn’t envy others, toot its own horn, or seek to be mean and destructive. Jesus had a number of reasons to boast. He performed miracles. He had the wisdom and knowledge of his Father, yet he remained humble, giving his Father glory. Even when his character was attacked over and over by the Pharisees, he never spoke words of dishonor, contempt, or disrespect.
Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It doesn’t get annoyed by imperfections, and it is forgiving. In our human nature, when someone denies us, when they reject us or choose to walk away; we hold onto that hurt and anger. May even cut them off. Never seek to reconcile. When Peter denied Jesus, he sought reconciliation, forgiveness, and he never spoke of it again.
Love does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love does not take pleasure in lies, deceit, or wrongdoing. Its desire is to seek truth above all else. Jesus stood against the things that were against the word of God, because love desires a life filled with integrity. He desired this for us.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Our society has taught us that love comes and goes. You can choose it one day, and discard it the next. Your feelings can change in a moment, and can be cut off with the push of the “send” button. But the thing is-love isn’t a fleeting, momentary feeling. It’s a daily sacrifice. It is sometimes putting aside your feelings to pray for the salvation of another. It’s loving from a distance, while still praying for good, remaining hopeful that others will know His love, even if the circumstances become burdensome.
It’s Jesus. On a cross. Bearing the burden for us all.
The love that never fails. Never gives up. Never loses faith. Always hopes. Endures with us always.
The One true Valentine.