The way we see love and the way God sees love is VERY different.
Reading 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is a reminder of real love and it’s also a checklist of how we should treat others. Love has many attributes; “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (New International Version)
WOW – I have to ask myself, ‘do I walk in this kind of love 100 percent of the time?’ and truthfully my answer would have to be… no. Love is a choice, it is also a command. To even try and love in your own strength is impossible because you will find, just like me, that you can be kind but are easily angered or you definitely don’t delight in evil but you are proud or at times self-seeking.
To love naturally without wanting something in return is not a human trait; the flesh always wants and is never satisfied. To truly walk in love will require the help of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer (Galatians 5:16-25). Take Cain and Able for instance. At first glance you may say that God only punished Cain because he killed his brother, but that’s not the full story. In Genesis 4:3-4 it states that Cain brought ‘an offering of the fruit of the ground’ while Able brought ‘the firstborn of his flock and of their fat’ – the focal point here is not primarily the offering (though important) but crucially the condition of heart each offering was presented to God. Cain did not fear God or have faith in Him, whereas Able was a lover and worshiper of God and was upright in all his ways. In spite of this, we see in verse 7 the tenderness of God’s love towards Cain, He gave him a chance to repent and rule over sin but Cain allowed jealousy and envy to rule over him instead. Cain delighted in evil and rejected the truth.
Love is truly deep; when we express love the way God sees it and expresses there are absolutely no boundaries that it cannot cross. Think about it this way, when we sin God is patient He doesn’t hit us over the head and say ‘oh gosh look you did it again what’s wrong with you?’, no His love embraces us when we know full deep down inside we don’t deserve it. Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NIV)
God does not keep any record of our past sins that’s what the devil does. The bible says in Psalms 103:10-12 (NIV) that, “he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” It’s not that our sins don’t deserve judgement but because of the final act of Christ on the cross our sins have been blotted out, WE HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN. However the devil loves nothing more than to constantly remind us and God of what we have committed, the bible says in Revelation 12:9-10 that “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” (King James Version)
Take a moment to do a stock take: are you patient and kind? Do you get frustrated when things don’t happen in your own timing? Ask God for His help to love the way He loves with patience.
Heavenly Father thank you for your patience towards us always!