If I give all I possess to the poor and exult in the surrender of my body, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs.…1 Corinthians 13:3-5 Berean Study Bible
As individuals differ so will their definition of love differ; it is almost a certainty that our life experience impacts the way that we define love. Being exposed as a child in an environment where love was understood without physical affection or direct healthy touch as a child usually results in the maturation of an unaffectionate adult. Even at social gatherings such as family get-togethers, it is evident in the mood; is the family distant and stoic displayed with monotone voices and a quick cheek-kiss or do they reach out and embrace one another with smiles, hugs, and laughter?
Perhaps your definition of love does not come near to the definition of love that is expressed in 1Corinthians 13. Even so, the characteristics of the unconditional agape love that is given to us in the Word of God are the only defining characteristics that are approved by God. There are many arguments, discussions, and disagreements regarding love, but the hows and the whys of our explanations are for naught unless they align with the Love Chapter-1 Corinthians 13.
Certainly, our Heavenly Father and Creator of all mankind who lovingly picked up the dust into His hands and made us into His image would have the final word and God is the one who makes the final decision on the definition of love.
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1 NLT
Is there any purpose to meaningless noise? We must discard our prior life experiences and preconceived notions of what Love really is; if the way we love others fails to be an exact match then we do not have love.
Think of it this way, DNA paternity testing can only give two results: Either the man is identified as the biological father or he is not the biological father, there are no other possibilities.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NIV
The Word of God is plain and straightforward, the words are not coated in sugar or tactfully delivered; God desires that we have a clear understanding of what He requires, our lives are not to be based on what we desire. God’s Word is Truth and the truth is required for our characters to reflect righteousness.
During this holiday season, read 1 Corinthians 13 on a daily basis until you have every characteristic of love memorized and pray for a radical change. When we understand and practice God’s definition of love, we become like Christ who always exhibited love and compassion to others; Christ was selfless while He lived on this earth. It is love, the core value that forgiveness, grace, and mercy flow from like a river nourishing everything in its path. Give yourself the gift of love: Love God, Love Others, and Love yourself!
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 13
Prayer for today: Dear God, Thank you for giving us your definition of love. May we strive to change and discard all traits that reflect that we are noisy gongs or clanging cymbals. We pray for forgiveness of the unloving and careless ways that we possess. We ask you to teach us how to love unconditionally and possess forgiveness for those who have wronged us even when they feel no remorse. We thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus who died and rose again that we may have Eternal life if we so choose, and we ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019