1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
The Apostle Paul said in verse 3, �If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn�t love others, I would have gained nothing.� In other words love is the most important thing when it comes to people. So the apostle continued in verses 4-7 to define love. The essence of love is summed up in the verses above.
Sadly there are many people in the world that don�t know love or love as it was meant to be. I remember a story a friend told about a neighbor who was knocking on their door at 1am in the morning. The neighbor�s husband had beaten her black and blue and she was pleading for help. My friend called the police while his wife tried to comfort her. She kept repeating, �He says he loves me, but what kind of love is this?�
I remember the testimony of a woman who had been a prostitute. Her pimp had rescued her from the street. He provided a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear and even a share of the money. He forced her into situations she was not comfortable with. Yet all the while he told her he loved her and if she loved him she would do these things for him. She did those things believing she was doing it out of love for him.
Even in the news lately we have heard and seen the results of the Sandusky trial. Perpetrators such as Sandusky will often reassure their victims they love them. They do things for them, which they say is out of love. Then they abuse and molest also saying that is part of love.
The examples above are not examples of love, but instead examples of sin. For The Bible tells us when we follow the desires of our sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.
Let�s put aside sin in all of our lives no matter how small it may be so that love may abound. Let us never think our sacrifices are enough, but let us understand the full extent of love and show love to others as it is intended to be shown.