Love Always…Always Love
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Verse 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
As we have mentioned the last few days, the Church functions on love and should be marked by love. This isn’t an occasional call to love but a perpetual living of love. Our verse today shows us that love has attributes that are always at work.
The love we are used to living out in life, even in the church, is conditional. If someone does something that makes us mad we cut them out of our lives. But is that following Christ’s example? Where would Peter have been if after his betrayal, Jesus no longer trusted him? This list of love, given to the Church, has four specific ways that love in the Church should be unconditional.
Before we look deeper at this list we need to address another way that our discussion could be misconstrued. This unconditional love does not mean that sin goes unaddressed. As we see in verse 6 love doesn’t respond to sin with joy and we know from other places in Scriptures there are ways of dealing with sin in a congregation and there is definitely a difference between a single sin in our life and a lifestyle of sin. A life that has ongoing sin shows an unrepentant heart and that needs to be addressed in the ways laid out. That being said, it needs to be carried out in a loving manner because love always hopes and there is always the hope that one will repent and return to the fold.
Our list today holds 4 marks of what Godly love looks like. We like the idea of God always protecting us but how often do we think about protecting others? What should we be protecting them from? How about gossip or slander? These are two ways that the Church tends to miss loving each other and that is one way we look like fakes to the world around us.
Trustworthiness is a trait that seems less and less common in our society but it should be a clear mark of those in the Church. We should stand out in our workplaces and such because we are different than the average person. And then we have the trait of hope. When we love our fellow Christians we will always hope for their well-being, their deepening faith, good things in their lives and we hope for close fellowship with them.
Lastly we know that love always perseveres. To love another Christian is to never give up on them nor a relationship with them. Love pushes through the hard times and links up arms to help each other along. This love shows that it isn’t a passing fancy but a commitment that will last eternally. Because as Christians we are looking forward to eternity together.
Making It Personal
Do you find that you struggle with one or all of these? Why do you think you struggle with loving others in these ways? What choices of change do you need to make in your life to love as you are called to?
Making It Personal Kids
What do you think these kinds of love look like? Do you try to love like this? Who do you find it hard to love?
Father, You are the perfect example of love. Please give us a longing to love our fellow believers in the way You love us. In Jesus’ name, amen.